Skip to main content

Full text of "Russell Alexander Alger (late a senator from Michigan) Memorial addresses, Fifty-ninth Congress, second session, Senate of the United States, February 23, 1907, House of representatives, February 24, 1907"

See other formats

Class ^6$^ 
Book i^^l 

59th Congress I 
2d Session f 


I Document 
I No. 405 

Russell Alexander Alger 

I Late a Senator from Michigan) 


Fifty-ninth Congress 
Second Session 

February 23, 1907 

February 24, 1907 

Compiled under the direction of the Joint Committee on Printing 







Proceedings in the Senate 

Prayer by Rev. Edward E.Hale 5 

Memorial addresses by: 

Mr. Burrows, of Michigan 

Mr. Daniel, of Virginia r 5 

Mr. Warren, of Wyoming 2 3 

Mr. Spooner, of Wisconsin 2 $ 

Mr. Dolliver, of Iowa 33 

Mr. Dick, of Ohio 4 2 

Mr. Warner, of Missouri . . » 54 

Mr. Foraker, of Ohio 57 

Mr. Smith, of Michigan 59 

Proceedings in the House "3 

Prayer by Rev. Henry N. Couden •' 63, 66 

Memorial addresses by: 

Mr. Denby, of Michigan 6 9 

Mr. Smith, of Michigan So 

Mr. Lacey, of Iowa s 4 

Mr. Fordney, of Michigan ss 

Mr. Hamilton, of Michigan 95 

Mr. Darragh, of Michigan io2 

Mr. Townsend, of Michigan io 7 


Death of Senator Russell A. Alger 


Thursday, January -v, <9°7- 

The Chaplain, Rev. Edward E. Hale, offered the follow- 
ing prayer : 

/;/ my Father's house arc many homes. I go to prepare 
a place for you. 

If our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we 
have a building of Hod, eternal in the heavens. 

They cease from their labors, but their works do follow 

Let us pray. 

Father of life, teach us the lesson of life at this moment 
of sudden death. Thou art pleased to call him to higher 
service, to see as he is seen, to know as he is known. In a 
moment, in the twinkling of an eye, he is changed, and 
this corruptible puts on incorruption, and this mortality 
is clothed with immortality. 

We need not pray for him. He conies to Thee in the 
glad certainties of that larger life. But for ourselves, 
Father, we pray that our labors may be consecrated to 
Thee; that we may live to Thy service ; that we may go 
about Tin- business ; so that when Thou dost call us where 


6 Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

we may cease from such labors, we shall enter into the 
higher service of the sons and daughters of the living 

We ask it in Him who is immortality and life for us, 
coming to Thee in the name of Thy well-beloved Son. 

()//;- Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. 
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is done 
in heaven. Give us this day oar daily //read, and forgive 
us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against 
us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. 
For thine is the kingdom, is the power, is the glory, forever 
and forever. Amen. 

Mr. Burrows. Mr. President, it becomes my painful 
duty to announce to the Senate the death of my colleague, 
Hon. RrssELL A. Alger, who died at half past 8 o'clock this 
morning at his residence in this city. 

This is not the time for eulogy. At some future date I 
will ask the Senate to set aside a day in which to pay fitting 
tribute to his memory. For the present, I ask the passage 
of the resolutions which I send to the desk. 

The Yick-President. The Senator from Michigan sub- 
mits resolutions, which will be read by the Secretary. 

The Secretary read the resolutions, as follows: 

Resolved, That the Senate has heard with deep regret and profound 
sorrow of the death of Hon. RUSSELL A. ALGER, late a Senator from the 
State of Michigan. 

Resolved, That a committee of twelve Senators be appointed by the 
Vice-President to take order for superintending the funeral of Mr. ALGER, 
which shall take place at his late residence on Saturday, January 26, at 
2 o'clock p. m., and that tile Senate will attend the same. 

Resolved, That as a further mark of respect his remains be removed from 
his late home in this city to Detroit, Mich., for burial in charge of the 
Sergeant-at-Arms, attended by the committee, who shall have full power 

Proceedings in the Senate 7 

to carry these resolutions into effect, and that the Sergearit-at-Arms 
be directed to invite the Representatives from the State of Michigan to 
join the committee appointed by the Senate to escort the remains of the 
deceased to his place of burial. 

Resolved, That the Secretary communicate a copyof these resolutions 
to the House of Representatives. 

The VICE-PRESIDENT. The question is on agreeing to the 
resolutions which have been read by the Secretary. 

The resolutions were unanimously agreed to. 

The VICE-PRESIDENT appointed as the committee under 
the second resolution Mr. Burrows, Mr. Frye, Mr. Daniel, 
Mr. Nelson, Mr. Warren. Mr. Spooner, Mr. Scott, Mr. 
Dillingham, Mr. Foster, Mr. Patterson, Mr. Dick, and Mr. 


Mr. Burrows. Mr. President, as a further mark of respect 

to my late colleague, I move that the Senate do now 

The motion was unanimously agreed to; and (at 12 o'clock 
and 1 7 minutes p. m.) the Senate adjourned until to-morrow, 
Friday, January 25, 1907, at 12 o'clock meridian. 

Saturday, January 26, 1907. 

Mr. Frye. I think the Senate ought to adjourn at this 
time, in order to attend the funeral of the late Senator 
Algf.r. There will be carriages at the door of the Senate 
to accommodate Senators. The last carriage will leave the 
door at precisely half past 1 o'clock, so that it is necessarj 
that the Senate should now adjourn. I make that motion. 

The motion was agreed to; and (at 1 o'clock and 10 min- 
utes p. m.) the Senate adjourned until Monday, January 28, 
1907, at 12 o'clock meridian. 

8 Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

Saturday, February 23, /yuj. 

Mr. Burrows. I offer the resolutions which I send to 
the desk, and ask for their immediate consideration. 

The Vice-President. The resolutions presented by the 
Senator from Michigan will be read. 

The resolutions were read and unanimously agreed to, as 
follows : 

Resolved, That the Senate has heard with profound sorrow of the death 
of Hon. RUSSELL A. ALGER, late a Senator from the State of Michigan. 

Resolved, That as a mark of respect to the memory of the deceased the 
business of the Senate be now suspended to enable his associates to pay 
proper tribute to his high character and distinguished public services. 

Resolved, That the Secretary communicate these resolutions to the House 
of Representatives. 

Address of Mr. Burrows, of Michigan 


Address of Mr. Burrows, of Michigan 
Mr. President: For the second time during my brief 
service in the Senate the State of Michigan has been called 
upon to mourn the loss of one of its most distinguished rep- 
resentatives in this body; first, Senator McMillan, and now, 
Senator Alger. Both rendered conspicuous sen-ice to 
the State and the nation, and died full of honors. 

Senator Russell A. Alger, at the time of his death had 
reached the allotted span of human life, and completed the 
work which Providence had assigned him, and died, as he 
had frequently expressed his desire to do, at his post of duty 
in the front of battle. Life's work was completed and he 
was content. 

Russell A. Alger was born in Medina County, in 
the State of Ohio, February 27, 1836, where he spent the 
days of his early youth. I can not better describe the 
struggles of his boyhood than by quoting from an authentic 
account of his early life, a simple story, which should be an 
inspiration to the youth of this day and in all days to come : 

His parents, after settling in the woods of Medina County, were ex- 
tremely poor and partially invalids, and young Russell found it necessary 
to labor hard in order to earn support enough to sustain his parents, his 
younger brother and sister, and himself. 

But the charge of supporting his invalid parents was not to last long. 
When he was but 12 years of age his father and mother died, and young 
ALGER was left with a younger brother and sister to care for. That, 

io Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

indeed, was a trying situation, and many a boy of weak moral fiber would 
have abandoned the responsibility. Not so with young ALGER. He 
grappled with circumstances as he found them. He secured for the chil- 
dren a home where each could be cared for and then proceeded to make 
something of himself. At first he worked for his board, clothing, and 
three months' schooling in the year. In 1850, at the age of 14, he cut loose 
from so restricted a contract and really began life as a "hired man." His 
first engagement was for six months, during which time he received $3 
for the first mouth, S4 for the second month, and $5 a month for the 
remainder of the term. ( Hit of these scanty earnings as a farm laborer he 
contributed to the needs of his brother and sister, who had been placed in 
families w here their limited services were accepted for their board. 

Thus young Al.GER had worked steadily forward from boyhood, had 
accepted what wages he could obtain, from their meagerness had aided in 
the support of his brother and sister, had not faltered in any of the long 
years from the time lie was 12 years old until he was 20, but had gone 
steadily forward, doing what he considered was simply dutiful and manly. 

Until he was 20 years of age young ALGER had simply struggled for the 
existence of himself and his two wards. 

Such is the simple story of his early life. Such condi- 
tions would ordinarily have daunted the bravest heart; but 
the Scotch and English blood that coursed in his veins 
stirred his heart and nerved his arm for the conflict before 
him. With undaunted courage he took up the duties and 
responsibilities of life, and under the most trying circum- 
stances discharged them all with manly spirit and an uncon- 
querable will. 

Finally, in 1859 he went to Michigan and engaged in the 
active duties of a business life. He had, however, scarcely 
entered this new field of his labors when the civil war broke 
out, and, turning his back upon the business career he had 
mapped out for himself and his hopes and ambitions for the 
future, he offered his services to the country, and in August, 
1861, enlisted as a private in the Second Michigan Cavalry, 
sharing the hardships and the privations of a private soldier. 
His soldierlv qualities were soon recognized and promotions 

Address of Mr. Burrows, of Michigan n 

followed rapidly. He became captain of Company C, then 
major of the regiment, then lieutenant-colonel of the Sixth 
Michigan Cavalry, and in 1863 was promoted to the colo- 
nelcy of the Fifth Michigan Cavalry. In 1S64 he was given 
the rank of brigadier-general for gallant conduct in battle, 
and finally, in June, 1865, having served until the close of 
the war, he was brevetted major-general of volunteers for 
gallant and meritorious services during the war. He served 
until the close of the conflict, participating in sixty-six bat- 
tles and skirmishes, and rose from the ranks to a brevet 
major-general of volunteers. 

Returning to Michigan at the close of the war, with peace 
assured and the Union restored, he resumed his business 
enterprises, and in the forests of Michigan hewed his way 
to fortune and fame. The lumber industry, in which he 
was engaged, proved a most lucrative venture, and his indus- 
try was ultimately rewarded with an abundant fortune. 

Before this time he had paid no attention to political 
affairs ; but in politics he had always been, from his earlv 
manhood, an ardent Republican, and in 1884 was nominated 
by his party for governor, which office he held for two years, 
at the expiration of which time he declined to be a candi- 
date for reelection. The firm manner with which he dealt 
with the labor troubles in the State induced him to forego a 
renomination in the interest of party harmony and strength. 
He retained his hold, however, upon the confidence and 
affection of the people of. our State, and in 1888 the Michi- 
gan delegation to the national Republican convention at 
Chicago was instructed to present his name for the high 
office of President, and in the convention he received at one 

12 Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

time 142 votes, but the nomination was conferred upon 

In his political life, as in his business, no disappointment 
or adversity caused him to waver from his sense of duty, and 
entering into the campaign with all the enthusiasm of his 
nature, he devoted his time and substance to the triumph of 
his partv. He was prominently identified with the Grand 
Army of the Republic, and in 1889 was chosen its com- 
mander in chief, with which organization he remained until 
the time of his death. 

In 1897 General Ai.gkr was appointed Secretary of War 
by President McKinley, and he continued in that office until 
1S99, covering the entire period of the war with Spain. I 
often heard him speak of the gratification he felt over the 
fact that the conflict brought a reunited people together 
under one flag and for one country. 

In his history of the Spanish war he says: 

Americans have not forgotten — they are not likely to forget — the splen- 
did spectacle of the country's response to the Government's ultimatum 
upon Spain which inevitably resulted in war. It was spontaneous and 
practically universal ; it was sincere and enthusiastic. One realized that 
thirtv-three years of peace had made no change in the American charac- 
ter. More than 100,000 veterans of the civil war, wearers of the blue and 
wearers of the grav, pleaded for an opportunity to serve the reestablished 
Union. The sons of those who fought under Grant and Lee showed the 
soldierly and patriotic spirit of their sires had lost nothing in intensity by 
the lapse of years. 

I know, he often said to me, that that consummation was 

worth all the war cost. 

In 1902 he was appointed Senator to fill the vacancy 
caused by the death of Senator McMillan, taking his seat 
December i, and subsequently elected by the legislature of 
the State for the full term of six years. 

Address by Mr. Burrows, of Michigan 13 

There was but one sentiment in the State, and that was 
of vindication by the people who knew him best, among 
whom he had lived, and who had unshaken confidence in 

His death is sincerely mourned by all the people of our 
State, whom he served so long and so well, and his memory 
will be revered by the generations to come. 

Upon the receipt of the intelligence of Senator Alger's 
death, the governor of the State conveyed official notice of 
the sad event to the legislature, then in session, in the fol- 
lowing fitting terms: 

Executive Office, 
Lansing, January 24, igoy. 
To the President of the Senate: 

Hon. Russell A. Alger, Senator of the United States from Michigan, 
died at Washington, D. C, at 8.45 a. in., January 24, 1907, thereby creat- 
ing a vacancy in the representation of this State in the Senate of the 
United States. 

Full of years and honors. Senator ALGER has gone to his reward. It 
falls to the lot of few men to serve their State and nation in such exalted 
stations. Not alone because of the honors and responsibilities that came 
to him in civil life do we revere his memory. As a Michigan soldier he 
rendered distinguished services in the war of the rebellion. Michigan 
never failed during the lifetime of Senator ALGER to testify to her love 
and devotion for him when the opportunity presented itself, and it is fitting 
111 tin- highest degree that arrangements be made by the legislature of the 
State he loved and honored for services at which proper expressions may 
be given of the loss our State has sustained. 

Fred M. Warner, Governor. 

The legislature supplemented this tribute of the executive 

by declaring — 

The services of General Alger in war and in peace have been signalized 
by conspicuous devotion to duty, unflinching courage, wisdom, and patriot- 
ism, and have been freely rendered to the State and the nation. 

He went to his death wounded, but with great courage. 
With malice toward none and charity for all, he laid down 

14 Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

the burden of life, leaving this declaration of mingled 
patriotism and pathos: 

Should war ever again come upon this country and find it so totally un- 
prepared as it was in 1S9S, I hope that those who have been so profuse in 
their criticisms and eager to discover faults may have the patriotism and 
pride of the country to rise above personalities and, instead of striving to 
tear down, may endeavor to strengthen the hands of those upon whom the 
burden mav fall and whose only hope of reward is that satisfaction which 
comes from the consciousness of having labored honestly and unremit- 
tingly to serve a Government whose flag has never yet known defeat. 

Address of Mr. Daniel, of Virginia 15 

Address of Mr. Daniel, of Virginia. 

Mr. PRESIDENT: When one beloved once lay dead in a 
stricken home, a friend wrote these words to those who 
mourned : 

Watch and tend him as ye would, sickness and sorrow and pain and 
death at last would be his portion. Be not cast down that he is freed from 
them and that his spirit is at rest. 

Such thoughts as these, Mr. President, commend them- 
selves to our reflection at the close of the long, eventful, 
and achieving life of our late colleague, Russell Alex- 
ander Alger. It had passed beyond the vigor of his 
active manhood and was* already assailed by a mortal 
malady which he faced and knew. The last days of Gen- 
eral Alger must have been gloomy and depressing days to 
him, for the}' were marked by the signs of his early dis- 
solution. He had been told, and he instinctively knew 
from his own feeling, that the hand of death was on him. 
The adventitious charms of life were gone. Ambition's 
bugle call and fame's alluring smile could possess no 
attractiveness for him who had heard " the one clear call 
which came from beyond the harbor bar." 

The increasing feebleness of body made each day the 
more and more a burden, and yet in these days of heaviness 
and sore trial the very highest, noblest, and bravest quali- 
ties of the true man showed themselves in him. He came 
day by day to his post of duty in the Senate. He listened 

16 Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

to the proceedings and was careful to be present and to 
deliver his vote when the sense of the Senate was taken. 

Nice gentility marked his plain but trim dress. He 
had a pleasant word of greeting and cheer for friends he 
met. He was composed and calm. Looking time and 
looking death in the face, watching, as it were, the last 
sands as they poured out of the down-turned glass of life, 
like a trained soldier under fire, he showed no wincing. 
He proved in his conduct and in his bearing that the sense 
of duty remained constant and predominant in him. If 
" duty " be the sublimest word in the language, surely dutv 
realized and duty done, even in the face of death, is man's 
highest and most noble achievement. This is true great- 
ness of soul, and this did he display. 

If the history of any Senator here were written, it would 
probably be found that, like Senator Alger's, it runs back 
into the conditions, into the history', and into the very 
organism of the society of which he is a part. Of course 
there are exceptions to this rule. There are the pertur- 
bations, the revolutions, upheavals of society, and great 
periods of transition when all rules are broken. But he, as 
well as the other two of our colleagues who have left our 
side in this Congress, illustrated the principle which these 
words indicate. 

Bate, a clerk on a steamboat at 13, a soldier at 17, a law- 
yer and editor and soldier again, and then governor and 
Senator ; Bate, born under the influences of that region in 
which Old Hickory Jackson was a leading figure and influ- 
ence, came as naturally to his career and his opinions as 

. Udress of Mr. Daniel, of I 'irginia 17 

man does to the atmosphere that gives to him the breath of 

her existence. 

Gorman, horn in Maryland on the borderland of the civil 
conflict, page in youth, then postmaster of the Senate, nat- 
urally entering into the great business of a commercial and 
manufacturing State, was representative of his time, of his 
geography, of the matters and things around him, just as 
truly as was Bate. 

General ALGER represented a different segment of our his- 
tory and country. When the new States sprang into being 
beyond the Alleghenies they were under the guardianship 
of the great Government which the original States had 
founded. They were not either creators of the principles 
for which they stood nor were they, except in a minor 
sense, the achievers of the land or the independence which 
they enjoyed. It was perfectly natural that they should 
look upon the Government which created the Common- 
wealths and which raised them as children into the man- 
hood of sovereign States in a different light from those who 
were the descendants of the earliest pioneers and of the 
earliest fabricators of our institutions. 

Take either of the three men— Bate, Gorman, and 
ALGER— and transpose their positions and their surround- 
ings, and each of them would have been a man of mark 
and leading; and with situations changed the very nature 
of the men would also have differed with the diversity of 
things which they represented. But there is much like- 
ness, even if there be difference, in their contacts, associa- 
tions, and geographical relations. They were all three men 

S. Doc. 405. 59-2 2 

18 Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

of high American ideals. They were all three devoted 
patriots and willing burden bearers of the people. All 
three of them rose from the nndistingnishable obscurity of 
a boyhood which had no silver or golden spoon in its mouth 
and which was marked by no special opportunities. But 
each bespoke the sturdy and worthy stock from which he 
sprang by showing the stuff that was in him. Each illus- 
trated the truth expressed by Edmund Burke when he said, 
" It is a prerogative of man to be in a threat degree a crea- 
ture of his own making." Each had in him the materials 
of success, and each molded that material into success by 
long, persistent, and hard striving on his own projected 

General Alger's career illustrates the tremendous oppor- 
tunities and the beckoning hands of ambition and enterprise 
of the old Northwest, which had been turned into young and 
magnificent commonwealths. A farmer's boy of 10, going to 
school of nights at one period of the year and teaching school 
at another ; a student of the law, admitted to the bar, forming 
his character upon ideals of a future career which seemed 
to open before him ; then passing from Ohio into the new 
Commonwealth of Michigan and there hearing the bugle 
blast that summoned its people to arms in 1861. 

There is comprehended in the mere statement of his 
military career material out of which a graphic volume 
could be written. A private, a captain, a major, a lieutenant- 
colonel, a colonel, a general, crowned with brevet of major- 
generalship at its close, and participating in sixty-six bat- 
tles and skirmishes. This would seem extravagant to those 
unfamiliar with the unremitting tenor of the war ; but the 

Address of Mr. Daniel, of Virginia 19 

cannonade was as regular almost in the period of 1864 as 
the rising and the setting of the sun. and battles passed out 
of view in a day which in other times would have been 
written upon the brilliant scrolls of history. 

The most marked feature in the history of General Alger, 
and one which betokened his indomitable energy, his set- 
tled and fixed purpose, and the abilities which were behind 
them, is the fact that he strove in many things and succeeded 
in them all. Plunging into the wilderness as yet scarcely 
traversed by the white man's step, he rose to great eminence 
as a business man. Then he interwove the fortune which 
he had created by his own merit and genius into the mani- 
fold business relations which sprang up in the development 
of a more complex order of society. 

Turning his attention to the political field, he becomes 
elector at large to represent his party before the people, and 
then is elevated to the posts of governor and of Senator. 
These things tell their own stories, and I need not go into 
the detail of relation which has been so eloquently and well 
done by his colleague. 

In several ways I became better acquainted with General 
ALGER than usually falls to the lot of Senators here who are 
not upon the same committees and are not in that unison of 
consultation which kindred political opinions often brings. 
I first met him socially in an agreeable and friendly way in 
London ten years ago. The face of a countryman is always 
welcome in a strange land. We sojourned at the same 
hotel, and in daily contacts and associations I seemed to 
become familiar with his character, to see its lights and 
shades, to realize how friendly and how kindly it was, and 

20 Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

to share and exchange hospitalities which rendered absence 
from home and country an additional matter of joy inter- 
mingling with new scenes. 

The next time 1 was thrown frequently and for a much 
more prolonged period with General Alger was during the 
time of the Spanish war. He had then come to Washing- 
ton as Secretary of War, and a burden was thrown upon his 
shoulders such as has been thrown upon no man in this 
generation, unless it be the President in whose Cabinet he 
served. General AEGER was not at that time in i^reat vigor 
of health, but he devoted himself to the task before him 
with an assiduity, with a patience, with a continuity of 
application which could not have been surpassed by any 

For the time being it seemed as if party lines had dis- 
appeared; and what particrdarly commended him to my 
admiration was not only his frequent expression of gratifi- 
cation that we were all one in the feelings of friendship and 
in sharing the burdens and the opportunities of government, 
but also one in deed. No man connected with the Admin- 
istration was more gratified to issue commissions to the sons 
and kindred of the men with whom he had fought, nor do 
I think there was any man in Washington who enjoyed 
more generous and complete satisfaction in the renewal of 
olden ties and in seeing the work of grace proceed that 
cements the affections as well as the interests of the people. 
I heard him make remarks on many occasions which I 
would not feel at liberty to repeat in public, even though 
thev were most honorable to him and such as furnished 
worthv examples for any man to imitate. 

Address of Mr. Daniel, of Virginia 21 

Mr. President, it was a matter of great disappointment to 
me that when you appointed the committee to attend Gen- 
eral ALGER'S remains to his home in Michigan I could only 
in part perform what was my becoming duty; as one of its 
members I did attend his funeral here, and was impressed 
by its simplicity and by the utter absence of all effort at 
ostentation. Befittingly, a battalion of cavalry, in which 
arm of the seryice he had been a distinguished officer, 
escorted his remains to the depot, from which they were 
transported to his home. Fittingly those who were his 
comrades in arms again put on their uniforms, that they 
might testify their especial sympathy. 

But beyond the mere forms and ceremonies which are 
necessary to such an occasion, there was nothing more than 
the offerings of personal friendship and the sharing in grief 
which marked the departure of one so well known, and, by 
those who knew him best, so well beloyed. 

I would haye accompanied his remains to the city of 
Detroit, and I felt a sense of keen disappointment that I 
could not do so, but I had in my hands tasks which I could 
not la}' down without feeling that I was deserting my post 
of duty, and in preferring duty to even so sacred a call I 
felt I but imitated the worthy example which he himself 
had set before me. 

All of us haye heard, Mr. President, and from main- 
sources, of the beautiful home life of General Alger and 
of the happy liyes that were lived by those nearest and 
dearest to him under his roof. To that fortress of the heart, 
the home, we turn always in our troubles, and to that we 
turn instinctiyely as we seek to know those who have ^one 

22 Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

forth into life's battle to bear life's burdens. The husband, 
the father, the friend had the capital of his life in his home. 
Thither bore he his trophies. Thither he returned when 
the weariness of the strife came on. There his friends ever 
found welcome, and there he was himself in the finest 
phase of his nature. 

He will be missed by comrades who shared his dangers 
and his hardships in days of conflict. He will be missed 
by some who were his enemies in war but who became his 
friends in peace, and who rejoice to know that he was their 
friend. He will be missed by men of public life who 
sought his counsel and his influence. He will lie missed 
by men of business whose affairs were intermingled with 
his own and who trot light and counsel from his sagacity 
and experience. Rut all this seems scarcely of account 
when we recall how he will be missed by those who were 
next to him in the sweet and loving affections of the fire- 
side. Comfort it is not ours to give to them; consolation 
we can not bestow ; though we would that both gifts were 
within the compass of our sympathy. We can only be glad 
that his suffering is ended, and believe that his good works 
on earth will follow him and that he is at peace and rest. 

. Iddress of Mr. II 'arren, of 11 T yoming 23 

Address of Mr. Warren, of Wyoming 
Mr. PRESIDENT: Fur more than a year prior to the 24th 
day of last month there moved among us, participating in 
our labors, shirking none of the arduous duties attached to 
membership in this body, one who carried with him know- 
ingly his death warrant. 

< h er a year ago our friend, in whose memory we are devot- 
ing these few feeble words, became informed of the serious 
condition of his health, and learned that any moment the 
dread summons might come which would take him away 
from Ins family, friends, colleagues, and all that is loved and 

prized in this life. 

With the quiet courage which marked Ins whole life work 
he uttered no complaint, he showed no anxiety, he asked for 
no sympathy. He had the hope of being permitted to finish 
the term of service for which he had been elected, and with 
this hope actuating him he put his house in order, continued 
his daily tasks, and performed his duties quietly, gently, and 
yet with courage, which, as we look back upon the year's 
work, we must pronounce sublime. The world has admired 
the courage of the Spartan youth who bore unmoved the 
gnawing of the wolf at his vitals; but what courage was that 
compared with the faithful performance of duties from day 
to day by our colleague, his fate facing him every moment? 
This closing year of the life of our friend, in which he car- 
ried silently and uncomplainingly his grievous burden, is but 

24 Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

typical of another period of his career, when, without harsh 
words or recrimination, he bore bravely and quietly the brunt 
of blame which by right should have been placed upon us — 
the Congress — and upon the people of the country. 

It is needless to repeat history so fresh in our minds; but 
we all know that, following the great struggle of the civil 
war, we, as a nation, allow-ed ourselves to drift for over thirty 
years in blissful insecurity. The Congress, representing 
perhaps accurately the general sentiment of the country, 
maintained our Army on a footing inadequate to our commer- 
cial standing and importance in the world of nations. Sud- 
denly forced into war, there was an outcry against our 
unpreparedness, which naturally centered against the then 
Secretary of War, regardless of the fact that the deplorable 
condition of affairs was the accumulated result of the laxity 
of our own acts. 

Under bitter aspersions, and knowing his own blameless- 
ness, Secretary Ai.gkr never retaliated; under circum- 
stances of the most trying nature he never departed from 
the dignified poise of character which had so marked his life. 
While he lived no words of defense of his own acts, or con- 
demnation of the charges of his critics, passed his lips. 
Even though it should not come during his lifetime he knew 
that when the impartial history of the war with Spain should 
be written it would be recorded that its errors were those 
of the remissness of our system and not the shortcomings of 
any officer of the Government. 

And on the day of his death came the official declaration 
of the War Department vindicating him. Of Secretary 

Address of Mr. II 'arren, of II 'yoming 25 

ALGER'S administration of the War Office, Mr. Secretary of 

War Taft said : 

General ALGER was patriotic, earnest, and most devoted to the interest 
of the Army and especially considerate of the welfare of the enhsted ^ 
He was a gentle, kindly .nan, with great confidence m his friends and 
associates, and was much beloved by his subordinates He was the sub 
iect of unjust criticism because of the country's lack of preparedness for 
war when war came, although for this he was nowise responstble. 

It is not necessary for me at this time to recount to you 
in detail the life story of RUSSELL ALEXANDER AlgKR; 
but I can not refrain from calling attention briefly to the 
salient features as shown in the modest biographical sketch 
which appears in the current Congressional Directory and 
to point out the self-evident fact which his life exemplifies, 
the untold possibilites our country offers the man who un- 
dertakes his life battle equipped with energy, application, 
honesty, and ambition. 

A penniless orphan at 13, facing want and privation; a 
plowboy at 20, doing the long dreary toil of the farm and 
field; a country school-teacher, with the petty, wearing 
trials of that calling; a lawyer, taking a leading place in his 
profession; a lumberman, understanding the intricacies of 
the business and attaining wealth through this knowledge; 
a soldier, taking part in sixtv-six battles and skirmishes; a 
governor of a great State, administering the office creditably 
and honestly ; a Cabinet officer, grappling with problems 
that had never before confronted an officer of the Govern- 
ment,, and, at his death, a Senator of the United States, 
loved by his constituents and his colleagues. 

Such is the story of our friend and colleague, and it fur- 
nishes a lesson of untold value to the American youth who 

26 Memorial Addresses: Russc/l A. Alger 

would reach high place in the business or political life of 
this country. His was not accidental success, but all that 
he gained was by patient, untiring, intelligent effort, and 
with every act underlaid with the broad foundation of inher- 
ent honesty. 

His success exemplifies the truth of that well-known verse: 

The heights by great men reached and kept 

Wert- not attained by Midden flight. 
But they while their companions slept 

Were toiling upward in the night. 

To those of its who had the pleasure and privilege of close 
association with him was revealed the lovable side of his 
nature, of which the world at large necessarily could not 
know. His was a character in which predominated gener- 
ous, kindly sentiments toward his fellow-men, and these 
traits brought to him throughout his entire career the loyal 
support and ardent friendship of everyone with whom he 
came in contact. 

It was this which endeared him to the people of his own 
State, who knew him well and who always held out to him 
the richest gifts and highest honors at their command. It 
was the citizens of Michigan — his friends and neighbors — 
who made him their governor, who voted for him loyally and 
steadily for the Presidential nomination in national conven- 
tions, and who, when the hands of the country seemed to 
be raised against him, gave him just and fitting vindication 
by electing him to the Senate of the United States. We 
who have worked with him on the floor of the Senate and in 
committee and have had the privilege of meeting him 

Address of Mr. Warren, of Wyoming 27 

in his charming home circle can well understand the fealty 
of his State and the love which its citizens bore him. 

It became my sad duty to go to the former home of Sena- 
tor Alger when his body was consigned to its last earthly 
resting place, and I saw while there widespread evidences 
of sincere and heartfelt grief. The people of his home 
loved him as we, who for the past six years have associated 
with him here, loved him, and they, as we, mourn his 
death, knowing and appreciating his noble traits and good 

Such a character does not live in vain. Rich, he did not 
misuse his wealth, but kept it employed in the busy marts 
of commerce, that his fellow-men should share in its pro- 
ductiveness, and of his surplus he gave abundantly to the 
poor and needy. Powerful, in politics, he was never domi- 
neering, but always was mindful of the feelings and wishes 
of others and sympathetic with the people themselves. Able 
to live in idleness, yet he did the daily task which came 
to his hand as faithfully and cheerfully as the humblest 

He has departed, but he has left in faithful effort, good 
deeds, and high accomplishments "a monument more last- 
ing than brass and more sublime than the regal erection of 
pvramids, which neither the wasting shower, the unavailing 
north wind, nor an innumerable succession of years and a 
flight of seasons shall be able to demolish." 

28 Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

Address of Mr. Sfooner, of Wisconsin 

Mr. President: I can speak in tribute to the memory 
of Senator Alger only the word which my heart shall 
send to my lips. 

I knew him long and well, and as I have listened to the 
eulogies which have been pronounced upon him I have had 
borne into my mind in an intense way the fact that it is 
onlv when we stand by the open grave of a man and cast 
our eves along the pathwav which he trod from the begin- 
ning to the end that accurate judgment of his qualities, of 
his accomplishments, is possible to us. 

Senator Alger afforded for all time by his career indu- 
bitable evidence of the possession in full measure of many 
great and noble qualities. It was a long and toilsome jour- 
nev, Mr. President, from the village in Ohio, where as a 
vouth, unaided by adventitious circumstances, he began his 
struggle to the eminence upon which he died. 

No man without noble purpose, well-justified ambition, 
strong fiber, and splendid qualities in abundance could have 
carved out and left behind him such a career. His pathway 
was from the beginning upward, and all along it, at every 
stage of it, he discharged well every duty which manhood 
could demand ; and all along he scattered with generous 
hand deeds of kindness and helpfulness to those who were 
in need, sowing the seed which blossomed in fragrance along 
his pathway and made it beautiful. 

Address of Mr. Spooner^ of Wisconsin 29 

A man of great commercial genius, bom to command, of 
unquenchable spirit, of indomitable will, be wrought won- 
derful success in the realm of business ; and, Mr. President, 
it needs not to be said that in that realm no one ever dared 
to impeach his honor. No man without commercial honor 
would have wrought and accomplished in that field what 
he wrought and accompished. 

The governor of a great State, carrying the splendid ad- 
ministrative ability which had given him triumph in the 
walks of business life to the capital in the service of his 
people, he there vindicated their confidence and the wisdom 
of their choice of him to be their executive. 

And then turning aside from business and turning aside 
from home — and no man ever lived who held in his heart a 
tenderer love for home and wife and children — he betook 
himself to the field of battle, and, as has been stated here, 
in over sixty battles and skirmishes he bared his breast to 
the bullets of the enemy and offered his life that the Union 
mirilt abide, and that what was its flag then should forever 
remain its flag, rising, Mr. President, from the humble but 
noble position of a private soldier to be captain, major, lieu- 
tenant-colonel, colonel, brigadier-general, and major-general, 
the latter brevet rank, for gallantry on the field of battle. 
When his friends and fellow-citizens lowered his inanimate 
body into the grave which had been digged in their midst, 
there was upon it more than one scar which he had received 
in defense of this Government. 

As Secretary of War— I allude to that, Mr. President, with 
some pain — I saw him often while he was in the Cabinet. 
I do not intend to go into the subject save in a few brief 

30 Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

words. His service there was difficult of performance in 
some of its aspects. Demands were made upon him which 
in the circumstances no man could completely meet, the 
fault not being his, but elsewhere, lying here, perhaps, and 
in the other House. 

I remember calling upon him one morning in the War 
Department during the war with Spain, and as he walked 
from a little gathering of people he staggered with physical 
weakness. His face was as white as it was as he lay in his 
coffin, but his eyes were bright. I begged him to go to his 
Ik une, and he made this characteristic response, "This is 
my place." I speak of it to show that wonderful spirit and 
characteristic devotion to duty, which was the law of his 
life to stand at the post to which duty had assigned him ; 
and there can never be anywhere or in any time a more 
beautiful illustration of that loyal spirit and sense of duty 
than that which he exhibited in the later period of his life 
while a Senator of the United States. 

We noted from day to day his growing weakness. He 
knew as he moved around the Chamber and sought the 
committee rooms for service there that the Angel of Death 
walked by his side with outstretched hand, ready any mo- 
ment to grip his heart. But that courage, that devotion to 
duty, that scorn which he always had for rest in the hours 
of work buoyed him up and held him to this place almost 
to the last moment of his eventful life. 

He was a public-spirited citizen always. He was a gen- 
erous, kindly man whose sympathies were always easily 
aroused, helpful to those who deserved help and helpful, 
alas, to many who did not. 

Address of Mr. Spooner, of Wisconsin 31 

Mr. President, he was criticised for having- made poor 
appointments to the Army during the war with Spain. I 
think he would have done any kindness for me which he 
felt at liberty to do. I may say here that he never, during 
his term as Secretarv of War, once gave an appointment to 
the Army from my State, for each time— and there were not 
many— I took to him an order for the appointment from 
the President— and no President could have been more care- 
fid than was the Executive of that day in making wise selec- 
tions— but it was impossible, as the world must know, in 
organizing suddenly a great army to choose with accuracy 
the men for command in small places and in high places. 
The wonder is, Mr. President, that so few men were com- 
missioned from civil life during that war who proved them- 
selves incompetent or otherwise unworthy. 

Senator ALGER was generous to his friends and forgiving 
to his enemies, save where a wrong done him was such that 
no self-respecting man could forgive. 

Mr. President, this ceremonial seems like parting again 
with an old and dear friend. I think it can not be found 
that in any station or in any relation of life Russeli. A. 
ALGER was other than devoted and faithful. No sweeter 
act or j uster act ever was done by a great State than was 
done by the State of .Michigan when she sent him into this 
Chamber and to that desk with her certificate of confidence 
in his honor and in his ability. It was a proud distinction 
for him ; but I believe it left unhealed a wound which never 
could be healed. 

32 Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

Mr. President, his career is ended; his day's work is done. 
Michigan lias made many notable contributions to the public 
service of the United States in civil and military life ; she 
has great treasure in the fame of her public men ; but among 
all her treasures she will cherish as a precious, imperishable 
jewel the name and fame of Russell A. Algf.k. 

Addrsss of Mr. Dolliver, of Iowa 33 

Address of Mr. Dolliver, of Iowa 

Mr. President: The deatli of Senator Ai.ckr has re- 
moved from the Senate one of the most attractive and 
useful men connected with our public affairs. It has been 
one of the happy experiences of my service here that Sen- 
ator Alckr's desk was next to mine and that I have had a 
daily opportunity to enjoy the advantage of intimate conver- 
sation and acquaintance with him. Long ago I learned to 
admire his record, both as a soldier and a statesman. But 
during the years in which I have been sitting here by his 
side I have been permitted to study his character more 
closely and to confirm all the good opinions of other years. 

The life which we live in this world is so strange, so hard 
to understand, so wrapped in mysteries which baffle all our 
questions, that I have allowed the habit to grow upon me 
of finding out from others, and especially from those who 
by reason of their opportunities and their experience have 
sounded all its depths and shoals, what they think of it and 
what it means to them. It is a familiar saying that no 
message comes back to us from the shadows which fall 
upon the end of every human life. But it is almost as true 
that we are cut off from any communication with our fellow- 
travelers that one can not understand what the others are 
saying, as the great procession moves along toward the 

silence of the grave. Even those who are working at the 
S. Doc. 405, 59-2 3 

34 Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

same task, walking side by side upon the same road, appear 
like strangers, speaking different languages and answering 
each other's questions in a foreign tongue. 

The most pathetic utterance of the Master recorded in 
the gospel, "Have I been so long time with yon and yet 
have ye not known me?" is in a lesser sense true of all who 
meet together, as we journey together, till at last we shall 
know as we are known. It is this isolation, this separation 
from our fellows, this privacy upon which it is so hard to 
intrude, this miraculous thing which Lord Tennyson in his 
old age speaks of as the "abysmal depth of personality" 
which has invented the sweet vocabulary of childhood and 
discovered for our comfort such words as "lover," "com- 
rade," "friend," and kept them at the center of all great 
literatures and close to the heart of our religions faith. 

( )ne day I asked General ALGER what he had found in 
life which most fully explained its meaning and threw the 
most light upon the problem of its worth. Almost with- 
out waiting he said that he had found in his home, in his 
wife, and in his children its most complete interpretation. 
And so no biography of him can exhibit any of the secrets 
of his strength or explain the inspiration of his achieve- 
ments which does not have in the foreground a picture of 
the one whom he chose in the years of his young manhood 
to be the partner of his joys and sorrows. 

I asked him one day, after he had told me somewhat of 
his early struggles and spoken in modest words of the suc- 
cess in business and public life which had come to him, 
what part of it gave him the most satisfaction, what among 
all the things he had tried to do he thought of with the 

Address of Mr. Dolliver, of Iowa 35 

most prick-. He said that if he had to leave everything 
else out he would prefer to keep the recollection of the 
years which he had spent in the old Union Army, defend- 
ing the flag of his country. I could not get him to speak 
of the battles he had helped to fight, of the long marches, 
of the victories in which he had a share. He left all that 
to others, for he knew how truly the mighty work which 
the Union Army wrought and the final victory which it 
won belonged to millions of men and women and how 
insignificant after all were the trophies of rank and high 

Whoever writes the biography of RUSSELL A. ALGER 
will not be fortunate in estimating the importance of his 
public service if he does not subordinate the fame which he 
acquired in the chief office of a great State, in the Cabinet 
of the President at an important epoch, in the Senate of the 
United States, to those four years of arduous responsibility 
in the civil war. For more than once I have heard him 
say that the greatest office which he had ever held, the 
distinction among his fellow-men which he prized the 
most, was commander in chief of the Grand Army of 
the Republic, that peaceful, unarmed host which, in 
humble quarters scattered throughout the land, preserves 
the traditions of our heroic age. 

And so it seemed fitting to me, as I stood the other day 
with multiplied thousands of his neighbors and friends 
about his grave, that the ministers of the church should 
stand apart and let an old Union soldier open the worn and 
faded ritual of the post of which he was a member and 
read, in the light of the setting sun, made weird and 

36 Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

beautiful by a landscape of snow, the parting benediction 
of his comrades upon his memory 

Senator Alger was a representative American business 
man, and, like nearly all such men, he had to fi^ht the battle 
of life upon his own resources. It was a favorite doctrine 
of his that a young man who begins with nothing to rely 
upon except his own energy has an altogether better chance 
than the children of affluence and fortune. And it is cer- 
tain that his own career is not peculiar in the illustration 
which it gives of the truth of this proverbial philosophy. 
At any rate, it does not take very much imagination to dis- 
cern behind the splendid outcome of his life, as lumberman, 
miner, merchant, manufacturer, railroad builder, and captain 
of industry, the poor boy, starting out in the world with 
nothing in his favor except health and strength and the 
ambition to win the prize. 

We live in times when the public ask troublesome ques 
tions about ^reat riches, when the cross-examination of 
swollen wealth is going on, not only in the courts, but 
about the firesides of the people; when the fierce light of 
curiosity, turning rapidly to anger, beats upon present-day 
accumulations of money, and when men are looking for 
some way to restore the old standards of integrity, which are, 
after all, still held in respect even in the market place. The 
criticism is not directed against the law of property which 
we have inherited from our fathers; it is aimed at those 
schemes of speculation through which the public interest is 
sacrificed to carry out the plans of avarice and greed. It is 
undoubtedly stimulated by the want of wisdom often seen 
among those who have captured the highest stakes. ' Instead 

Address of Mr. Dol/iver, of Iowa 37 

of hiding their plunder like the old-time pirates, they often 
inflame the resentment of the unincorporated multitudes by 

vulgar ostentation and .sometimes till the newspapers of 
Europe and America with the scandals of their profligate 

There was a time when everybody who had any property 
felt a certain common interest with all property rights, hi iw- 
ever large. But it would be idle to conceal the fact that 
the da}- seems to be approaching when the public mind is 
learning to discriminate between the honorable accumulation 
of property and the business methods which have already 
brought shame upon some departments of industry and 

I do not know how great General Au;kk's financial for- 
tune actually was, but probably not as great as commonly 
supposed. But whatever it was, there was no stain of dis- 
honor upon it. It represented the capacity, the patient 
industry, and the genius for affairs which has never been 
without honor in the world of business. And it would be 
hard to find a better test of the real character of the man 
than to observe how little his wealth affected his manners; 
how slight its impression upon his daily walk and conver- 
sation; in short, how much greater the man was than his 
possessions. And when on the day of his funeral I looked 
upon the streets of the city where he lived and saw them 
crowded mile after mile with men and women and children 
standing with solemn faces and uncovered heads, it did not 
require the testimony of neighbors to let me know that he 
had used his fortune for the welfare of the people where his 

^s Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

lot was cast. A rich man with his heart full of love. to 
humanity is God's best gift to modern society. 

I would have the young men of America, without measur- 
ing the possibilities of their success in money, treat the ac- 
cumulations which come to them as the result of honorable 
effort, not as a master to put them into slavery, but as a 
servant to be sent out upon errands of philanthropy to help 
and bless the world in which we live. 

Such a man was Senator Ai.gkr. And while in this 
Chamber his voice was seldom heard in debate, no one of 
us can doubt that when his people sent him here they con- 
tributed to the real deliberations of the Senate a strong and 
valuable guidance, too often wanting in our management of 
practical affairs. 

If I were called upon to point out the most conspicuous 
public service of General Algkr in civil life, I would recall 
his labors as Secretary of War in the Cabinet of President 
McKinley. I had an opportunity to know something of 
the burdens that were suddenly placed upon him, of the 
difficulties which he had to surmount, and of the noise which 
beset his office after the brief conflict with Spain was over. 
I do not know that anybody else has been impressed by it, 
but I have often wondered how it came about that nearly 
everybody connected with the chief events arising out of 
our intervention in behalf of the colonies of Spain sooner 
or later was called to pass through humiliation, and one at 
least through despair and suffering even unto death. 

( >ne day, sitting by Senator Alger's desk, I ventured to 
comment on this depressing aspect of our great victory, for- 
getting for a moment that he himself had tasted the bitter 

Address of Mr. Dolliver, of Iowa 39 

draft commended to his lips by the morbid and misguided 
opinion of some of his countrymen; and I can not forget the 
quiet smile of the old soldier of General Grant's army as he 
explained the interesting phenomena. His notion was that 
every generation has in its heart a vague longing for ex- 
ploits and far-sounding renown of its own; that we get 
tired of feeding our enthusiasm on the fame of other times. 
For that reason, as the war with Spain came on, so many 
people desired to get into it that the size of it was exagger- 
ated in the popular imagination, and nearly even-body had 
a dull sensation of having been robbed of a chance to play 
a part on the stage of an epoch-making drama. 

The country was filled with talkative heroes, better suited 
to command the Pacific than Dewey, better suited to take 
Santiago than Shatter, better suited to blockade seaports than 
Sampson, better suited to stop up the mouths of harbors than 
Hobson, and better suited to ecpiip and put armies in the 
field than the Secretary of War. As a net result of this 
surplus military energy this unissued stock in a patriotic 
enterprise grotesquely overcapitalized in the public mind, 
an audience was waiting for the campaign of abuse and 
slander, directed not only against the War Department, but 
against nearly all our movements on land and sea. There 
have been few more discreditable episodes in the annals of. 
American public opinion. 

It brings to mind, as we recall it, a chapter in the quaint 
fiction of Rabelais, in which the adventurer whose perils he 
records reaches the countrv of Tapestry and finds there, 1 teing 
attracted to the spot, as he plainly says, by a loud and vari- 
ous noise like that of paper mills, "a diminutive, monstrous, 

4<"> Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

misshapen old fellow called 'Hearsay.' His month was slit 
up to his ears and in it were seven tongues, each of them 
cleft into seven parts. However, he chattered, tattled, and 
prated, with all the seven at once, of different matters and 
in divers languages. He had as mam' ears all over his head 
and the rest of his body as Argus formerly had eyes, and 
was blind as a beetle and had the palsy in his legs. About 
him stood an innumerable company of men and women, 
gaping, listening, and hearing very intensely. So that those 
men of happy memories grew learned in a trice and would 
most fluently talk with you of a world of prodigious things, 
the hundredth part of which would take up a man's whole 
life to be fully known — every individual word of it by hear- 
say." Having discovered "forty cartloads of modern histo- 
rians lurking behind a piece of tapestry, where thev were at 
it dingdong, privately scribbling the Lord knows what, 
and making rare work of it," he ventures to ask the 
question, "What sort of study they applied themselves to?" 
and was told that "from their youth they learned to be evi- 
dences, affidavit men, and vouchers, and were instructed in 
the art of swearing, in which they soon became such profi- 
cients that when they left that country and went back into 
their own thev set up for themselves and very honestly lived 
by their trade of evidencing, positively giving their testi- 
mony of all things whatsoever to those who feed them most 
roundly to do a job of journey work for them; and all this 
by hearsay. 

Wherever printing is free and speech is free, the infirmi- 
ties of human nature seldom allow institutions like that to 
be closed even for repairs. 

Address of Mr. Dot/tver, of Iowa 41 

But the friends of General Alger, recalling, as I feel 

bound to do to-day, the injustice which was visited upon 
him, no longer see the need of defending him, for their 
thoughts turn without bitterness from those dismal months, 
now almost incredible to the American people, to the figure 
of the old soldier, sitting in his library in the pride of con- 
scious rectitude, setting down in writing, for his children 
and for his countrymen, the whole history of the Spanish 
war, its greatness and its littleness, its meaning and influence 
upon the national life, trusting his own fame to the simple 
record of his official labors and to the impartial judgment 
of posterity. 

The State of Michigan, in which he had lived so lono-, to 
whose material development he had contributed so much, 
was quick to challenge the imputation involved in his 
retirement under such circumstances from public life. His 
election to the Senate was recognized everywhere as the 
answer of those who knew him best to the clamor with 
which his reputation had been assailed. He had borne with 
honor the chief dignity of the Commonwealth. Bv common 
consent its people had lovingly presented his name to the 
nation for the highest office of the Republic, and they lost 
no time, although he was broken by the cares and burdens 
of life, and though the infirmity of years was already upon 
him, to console his old age by their commission to sit in 
this historic Chamber and end his days in the service of the 
people who had trusted and believed in him for more than 
half a centurv. 

42 Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

Address of Mr. Dick, of Ohio 

Mr. President: I feel I can not let this- occasion pass 
without offering a few remarks. 

Senator Alger was born in Ohio, and only a few miles 
from inv own home. He spent his youth in my home 
county and prepared for admission to the bar in my home 
city. In later years he was a frequent visitor there, where 
he had social and business interests, and he always enjoyed 
the admiration and respect of the people of his native State. 
Those of us who knew him best loved him most. 

The career of RUSSELL A. ALGER is typical of what is 
best worthy of imitation in American life. Born in pov- 
erty in a log cabin, which did not even possess a ridgepole, 
yet he enjoyed the rich heritage of descending from a long 
line of sturdy, respected, God-fearing ancestors of the best 
Puritan stock. They had been pioneers of early New Eng- 
land, his great-grandfather a brave soldier in the Revolu- 
tionary war, and his own father, early in the last century, 
joined the band of stalwart pioneers who moved from Con- 
necticut to the Western Reserve, where he broke a clearing 
in the wilderness, put up his cabin, and engaged in the stern 
struggle for existence which nature reqires of her favored 

Young Alger was bereft of his parents at the early age 
of 12, and was left with a young brother and sister who 
looked to him for guidance and support. He spent the 

Address of Mr. Dick, of Ohio 43 

remainder of his boyhood years on the farm of an uncle, 
working at first for board and clothes and three months' 
schooling in each year. He attended country school and 
academy for such meager educational advantages as the 
neighborhood afforded, and for two years himself taught 
school. His first cash employment was for $3 a month and 
board, but for part of that year he was paid $5 a month, 
from which he clothed himself and helped his brother and 
sister. His earnings gradually increased to $20 a month, 
the highest wage paid at that time to farm laborers. He 
was industrious, faithful, and ambitious, and, like thousands 
of other American boys, felt that the larger opportunities 
lay in the town rather than in the country. He moved to 
Akron, then a small country village, and entered upon the 
study of law. His preceptors were able and successful law- 
yers of more than State-wide reputation. One was Chris- 
topher P. Wolcott, then attorney-general of Ohio and from 
1862 to 1863 Assistant Secretary of War under Edwin M. 
Stanton, with whom he had read law. The other preceptor, 
who still survives, was William H. Upson, for four years an 
honored member of the National House of Representatives 
and for a dozen years judge of the supreme and circuit courts 

of Ohio. 

ALGER was admitted to the bar at Columbus in 1859, 
and entered a law office in Cleveland. The qualities which 
brought him success in other lines of industry would cer- 
tainly have given him great success at the bar, but he 
remained in the practice only a few months, failing health 
forcing him out of doors and compelling him to follow life 
in the open air. He moved to Michigan, and with borrowed 

I i Memorial Addresses: Russell . I. . llger 

capital engaged in the lumber business. The war soon 
broke out and he promptly offered his services to bis country. 
He enlisted in August, 1861, and the next mouth was mus- 
tered in as a captain of the Second Michigan Cavalry. For 
three years he served in that branch of the Army and ren- 
dered gallant and conspicuous service. His name is closely 
linked with the names of those two incomparable cavalry 
leaders, Sheridan and Custer, and had his military training 
been equal to theirs his military reputation would have been 
no less, for he was a bom commander of men, with natural 
military genius. 

It is hard to realize that this quiet, retiring, modest gen- 
tleman, who has unobtrusively moved in and out among us 
for the past four years, was one of the most dashing and 
courageous cavalry commanders in the civil war, but such 
was the case. No portion of his career shines so resplendent 
and no braver or more gallant soldier served in either army. 
Always the idol of his men, he often led them into desperate 
situations, but they were always eager to follow where he 
led. It has been said it was ALGER who requested the gov- 
ernor of Michigan to issue a commission to Philip H 
Sheridan, then an unknown captain of infantry, as colonel 
of a cavalry regiment, and Sheridan himself bears witness 
that it was Ai.ckk who, on the 25th day of May, 1862, 
handed to him telegraphic orders announcing his appoint- 
ment as colonel of the Second Michigan Cavalry. The two 
soldiers served together in the siege of Corinth, Miss., and are 
mentioned side by side in Gen. Gordon Granger's report for 
having well and faithfully performed their whole duty and 

Address of Mr. Dick, of Ohio 45 

meriting the highest commendation from their general and 
their country in that campaign. 

ALGER led the line of skirmishers in the advance on 
Boonville on May 30, 1862, which led to its capture^ and 
was mentioned by Colonel Sheridan as having rendered 
important service. A month later the enemy, with over 
5,000 mounted men, attempted to recapture Boonville, and 
attacked Sheridan, who was in command of two regiments, 
with only about 800 officers and men. When the attack 
developed the vastly superior force of the enemy, Sheridan 
detached ALGER with 90 sabers and directed him to make 
a detour around the flank of the enemy and attack him in 
column in the rear. Sheridan in his memoirs says of this 
movement that he was "confident of Alger's determi- 
nation to accomplish the purpose for which he set out," and 
the movement was entirely successful. Sheridan attacked 
in front with his entire force at the same time ALGER 
struck the rear, and the enemy stampeded and fled. ALGER 
himself was slightly wounded and taken prisoner, but 
escaped and returned to his command the same day. It 
was a brilliant charge and nobly executed, and this engage- 
ment made Sheridan a brigadier-general and ALGER a 
major. Every promotion that came to him was won by 
bravery and courage on the field of battle. On the 16th of 
October, 1862, he was made lieutenant-colonel of the Sixth 
Michigan Cavalry and ordered to the Army of the Potomac. 
On February 28, 1863, he was appointed colonel of the 
Fifth Michigan Cavalry, and his command was the 
Union force to enter Gettysburg when threatened by the 

46 Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

approach of General Lee and his army. He rendered dis- 
tinguished service here and participated in the several 
charges made by his regiment on the fatefid 3d of July. 
He was wounded July 8 at Boonesboro, Md., while in pur- 
suit of the enemy, but returned to duty the following 
September. To the end of his service he commanded this 
regiment, which was in Custer's brigade, except for short 
periods when he was temporarily in command of the 
brigade, and he was one of Custer's most trusted and fear- 
less regimental commanders. He repulsed an attack of the 
enemy in the operations around Culpeper Court House in 
September, 1863, his regiment being in advance of the 
brigade and passing through the town. In fact, Alger's 
entire militarv career while any fighting was going on was 
spent on the firing line, in the advance, in the skirmish 
line, or making desperate charges with his men. General 
Custer honored him as he did no other subordinate. In 
the winter of 1863-64 he performed special services for 
President Lincoln, receiving orders from him direct and 
visiting nearly all the armies in the field. 

In the movement from the Rapidan to the James in June, 
1864, be participated in several brilliant engagements. Of 
the famous charge at Trevilian Station, June n, General 
Sheridan says : 

The cavalry engagement of the iitli ami 12th was by far the most 

brilliant one of the present campaign. The enemy's loss was very heavy. 
My loss and captured will net exceed 160. They are principally from the 
Fifth Michigan Cavalry. This regiment, Col. R. A. Algek, gallantly 
charged, down the Gordonsville road, capturing 1,500 horses and about 
« » 1 prisoners, but were finally surrounded and had to give them up. 

Address of Mr. Dick, of Ohio 47 

Alger's command in this charge did not exceed 300 
men. Though surrounded by the enemy, he cut his way 
through a column of troops and rejoined the Union Army. 
For his distinguished gallantry in this engagement Colonel 
ALGER was brevetted a brigadier-general. His own official 
report of this engagement was most modest. The only 
tone of exultation it contains was over the fact that through 
a severe and fatiguing campaign his regiment had not lost 
a single man from disease, although the total loss in killed 
and wounded and missing was very great. 

The condition of his health compelled him to retire from 
the Army in October, 1864. He had participated in more 
than sixty battles and skirmishes, and at the close of the 
war was brevetted major-general for gallant and meritorious 
services. He returned home to begin again at the bottom 
to build for the future. He organized and planned large 
business enterprises. He acquired wealth, acquired it 
honestly, and never used it dishonestly. At one time he 
counted his lumber forests by the hundred square miles. 
He was a true captain of industry, for he created wealth 
and distributed it to others. He organized large industries 
by taking advantage of the opportunities which were open 
to all men. He was a prophet who looked into the future 
and foresaw coming demand. He never manipulated the 
stock market, never made a dollar by speculation, nor tore 
down what another had built up. When he benefited him- 
self he impoverished no one else, but added to the prosperity 
of all men with whom he dealt. 

His first entrance into politics was in 1884, when his 
partv in Michigan looked for its strongest man in order to 

48 Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

regain political control of the State, then administered by 
the opposition, and named Alger as its candidate. His 
administration as governor was very popular because of his 
business methods, his strict honesty, and close attention to 
duty. He refused a renomination because he could not 
afford to longer neglect his own business, and he would not 
slight the State's business for his own. 

In the Republican national convention of [888 he was a 
formidable candidate for the Presidential nomination and 
led an enthusiastic and devoted following. On one ballot 
he received 143 votes out of a total of 830, or more than one- 
sixth. He was voted for by delegates from twenty-six 
States and Territories, scattered from Maine to Washington 
and from Florida to Arizona. In a field of twelve candi- 
dates he received on the second ballot the next to the highest 
vote. After that he never stood lower than third on the 
list nor received less than 100 votes. On the last ballot, 
which ballot nominated Harrison, he received 100 votes to 
118 for John Sherman, who had led on preceding ballots. 
Xo candidate before the convention had a more determined 
following, and his own State cast its solid vote for him 
from the beginning to the end of the contest. In this con- 
vention was first heard the exclamation, since heard in 
hundreds and thousands of public gatherings, "Who's all 
right?" " He's all right." It was applied by the news- 
boys of Detroit to General ALGER. 

He was elected national commander of the Grand Army 
of the Republic by acclamation in 1SS9 and was one of the 
most popular and successful heads of that splendid organi- 

Address of Mr. Dick, of Ohio 49 

zation. No soldier was more loved by his comrades who 
wore the blue. 

He was made Secretary of War in President McKinley's 
Cabinet, with no thought that he would ever be called upon 
to assume the responsibilities of a war minister. Before 
the war clouds lowered the American people, with the blind 
optimism characteristic of them, believed war was impos- 
sible. When war did come the nation, as has always been 
the case in the past, was entirely unprepared. There never 
was a more popular war, and many times more men offered 
themselves for service than could be accepted. While 
there were plenty of men, men as brave and patriotic as 
ever served the Stars and Stripes, there was a scarcity of 
every other necessity. There were on hand barely enough 
of our newly adopted and improved rifles to arm our small 
Regular Army. The volunteers were equipped with an 
inferior arm, and <>ur best was not as efficient a weapon as 
that carried by the enemy. Volunteer regiments had to be 
sent to the firing line carrying cartridges loaded with black 
powder to face an enemy using only smokeless powder. We 
had no reserve supply of uniforms or tents, and there was 
no cloth in the country with which to make the new 7 service 
uniform required By climatic conditions in a tropical coun- 
try The country was surprised and shocked to learn that 
the .State volunteers were not eqiiipped for service, though 
everyone conversant with the facts well knew such was the 
case, for in our national blindness we had believed war was 
impossible. While human passions remain as they have 
been- since passion was born, and national ambitions cross 

S. Doc. 405, 59-2 4 

5<d Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

each other, as they always will, war will be a possibility 
always, and periodically a probability. It has come to the 
United States once at least in every generation since the 
nation was born, and we have no assurance our future will 
change that record. No prudent nation will omit insuring 
itself against the risk of war any more than a prudent house- 
holder neglects to insure against the risk of fire. The only 
effective insurance against war is sufficient preparation 
for it, and even that protection will not always prevent 
war. We have profited some by our recent national expe- 
rience, but further preparation remains to be made before 
our national security is entirely assured. 

When the war with Spain came upon us we had a very 
.small but highly trained Army, and a Navy superior to any 
of its size in the world. Despite our lack of preparedness, 
the enemy was quickly crushed, both on land and sea. In 
a short campaign of less than a hundred days "Cuba, Porto 
Rico, and the Philippines were ours for such disposition as 
we saw fit to make of them. The nation saw the results 
and applauded them, but knew little of the terrible strain 
imposed upon the Secretary of War and his Department in 
making the necessary preparations. The various supply 
departments had to be reorganized for providing the 
munitions of war. " That they were fully provided and 
that the numerous demands on the industries of our people 
were met so promptly will remain one of the marvels of 
history." Such was the verdict of the Commission to 
Investigate the Conduct of the War Department, and such 
will be the verdict of history. The Commission reported 
on the Secretary of War that he "extended to all chiefs of 

Address of Mr. Dick, of Ohio 51 

bureaus cordial and full support and promptly responded to 
every proper demand made upon him by commanding 
officers." If, as the Commission further found, "there was 
lacking in the general administration of the War Depart- 
ment during the continuance of the war with Spain that 
complete grasp of the situation which was essential," who 
will say that this gallant, fearless soldier, this successful 
governor, this great captain of industry, whose leading 
characteristic was his high executive talent, was so much 
to blame as the departmental system against which more 
than one strong man has fretted out his heart in vain, try- 
ing to overcome its inertia and modernize its antiquated 
and useless methods. 

No army from a temperate zone had ever invaded the 
Tropics and achieved such magnificent results in such a 
brief space of time or with so small loss of life from dis- 
ease. The loss from disease in the army which never left 
the States was much less than the loss from the same cause 
during the civil war. 

At first came the rush of volunteers attempting to get 
into the service. The applications for volunteer commis- 
sions alone numbered over thirty thousand. Of the large 
number who were appointed not over half a dozen were per- 
sonal appointments of the Secretary himself. Mistakes 
were unavoidably made in the details of organization and 
preparation, and no secretary could have escaped criticism. 
The American people alone were to blame for the condi- 
tions existing at the outbreak of the war. As in the civil war 
there was a mad cry, "On to Richmond," long before the 
Army was readv for such a movement, so there was a mad 

52 Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

cry, "On to Habana," when all the conditions and circum- 
stances declared such a movement a most rash and reckless 
one. War is no holiday pastime, and soldiering is not a 
trade to be picked up in a few days, and largely because of 
the lack of experience and knowledge on the part of volun- 
teer officers of the simplest rudiments of camp sanitation 
epidemics and fevers broke out and many valuable lives 
were uselessly sacrificed. A state of hysteria developed 
among the people, aided and abetted by an unbridled and 
indiscreet press, and the American public, which is prompt 
to praise and as readv to condemn, like the Roman public 
at the gladiatorial contests, demanded a victim. It picked 
out the Secretary of War for its victim, and he was com- 
pelled to go. Now that that passion has had time to cool, 
and the conditions of those stirring weeks are weighed with 
more even balance, the country has a feeling only of kind- 
ness and high regard for our warm-hearted, generous friend. 
He never fell the least in the estimation of the people of his 
own State, and when the opportunity came they promptly 
manifested their love and devotion to him by sending him 
to the Senate, where he would have succeeded himself had 
he not voluntarily declined to be a candidate for reelection. 
He was easilv the first citizen of Michigan. 

He was trained in the hard school of privation and pov- 
ertv, and, for the perpetuity and vigor of our institutions 
and our national existence, it is hoped that school will never 
disappear from among us. He made much of his oppor- 
tunities, and was a wise administrator of the wealth he 
acquired. He was generous in his charities, but shunned 
notoriety. His generosity was "a deep-flowing and contin- 

Address of Mr. Dick, of Ohio 53 

ual stream," and no worthy appeal went unanswered. He 
felt the greatest pride in the esteem and love of his own 
people. He was loved at home by all classes, hut best loved 
by the poor of his own city. He was incapable of a dishon- 
orable act. He never forgot friends nor their dependents. 
He fought his foes in the open, and forgave his enemies and 
his critics. He was patient under abuse. He was true to 
his friends and his country, always cool and brave under 
the most trying circumstances, dignified, unassuming, ap- 
proachable at all times, considerate to others. He was a 
man justly honored in State and nation, and his lossoutside 
his family circle will nowhere be more deeply felt than in 
this body, where for four years he was an honored member. 

54 Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

Address of Mr. Warner, of Missouri 

Mr. President: I have listened with genuine satisfac- 
tion to the eloquent and just tributes of respect which 
have been paid to the memory of RUSSELL ALEXANDER 
ALGER, only a few days since a member of this bod}-. 
Of his services and accomplishments as a United States 
Senator I shall not speak, as my acquaintance with him 
in this Chamber covered but little more than a year. I 
knew him in another and different field. I knew him as 
a soldier and as a man, and enjoyed his personal friend- 
ship for more than a third of a century, and I shall con- 
tent myself with speaking a few brief words of the deceased 
as my friend and comrade, and in doing this I appreciate 
the depths of my poverty of speech. 

To lose a friend is the greatest of all losses. ( >ur most 
enduring riches are our friends — friends not of a day, but 
friends that we " grapple to our souls with hooks of steel." 
It was Emerson, I think, who said, "The only way to 
have a friend is to be one." The truth of this saying was 
exemplified in the life of RUSSELL Alexander Alger. 
( )f him it may be truthfully said that those who knew him 
best loved him most. 

But our dead brother, Mr. President, was more to me 
than a friend. He was my comrade. The most enduring 
and tender ties in this life outside of the family circle, I 

Address of Mr. Warner^ of Missouri 55 

am constrained to believe, are the ties that are welded in 
the fires of battle between those who have shared, in a 
common cause, the privations of the camp, the hardships 
of the march, and the dangers of the battle. 

As a citizen he was without reproach; as a soldier he- 
was without fear. To fittingly speak of his record as a 
soldier would be to recount in no small part the marches 
and battles of '61 to '65. He was ever upon the firing 
line, taking an important part in threescore and six battles 
and skirmishes. For gallant and meritorious services he 
was brevetted brigadier and major-general of volunteers. 

With him, the war ended at Appamattox. Then, in com- 
mon with those who had borne the battle "with malice 
toward none, with charity for all," he gladly exchanged the 
instruments of war for the implements of industry. 

But few men have been more highly honored bv their 
States and by the nation than the deceased. Yet, much as 
he esteemed the honor of being governor, Cabinet minister, 
and United States Senator, no one nor all of these honors 
did he as highly prize, as he told me in this Chamber a few 
weeks before his death, as the one of being commander in 
chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization 
composed of the survivors of the men who, with him, had 
followed the flag of our nation as their " pillar of cloud bv 
day and of fire by night." 

He deemed it a blessed privilege to have been an actor in 
that mighty drama of ages out of which came the convic- 
tion universal, more earnest and firm than was ever expressed 
by the pen of a Hamilton or ever fell from the lips of a 
Webster, that there is no river, mountain, or other natural 

56 Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

boundary line that can ever divide this Republic; that we 
are one people, one in law, one in hope, and one in destiny. 
He rejoiced tbat he had been spared to see the day when the 
men of the blue and of the gray recall the scenes of the civil 
war without passion and review its results without regret. 

His was one of the gentlest and kindliest spirits I ever 
knew. His life was an inspiration to the young man of 
brain, industry, and honesty. He has pitched his tent with 
the old field marshal on the other side. His life being 
without reproach, lie inarched through the "valley of the 
shadow of death " seeing nothing here to regret or there 
to fear. 

It is a consolation that in the presence of our dead there 
comes to us an affirmative answer to the question of ages: 
"If a man die, shall he live atrain?" 

Letter from Mr. Foraker of Ohio 57 

Letter from Mr. Foraker, of Ohio. 

Mr. Burrows. Mr. President, it was the desire of the 
Senator from Ohio [Mr. Foraker] to be present at these 
services, but I received a letter from him this morning 
stating that illness detained him at his home. I ask that 
the letter may be inserted in the Record. 

The Vice-President. It will be so ordered. 

Mr. Foraker's letter is as follows: 

Washington, February 2j, /go/. 

Dear Senator Burrows: An attack of the grip pre- 
vents my attending the Senate and participating in the 
memorial exercises in honor of Senator ALGER. I greatly 
reoret that such is the ease, for it would be to me a labor of 
love to join with yon and his other colleagues and friends 
in paying proper tribute to such a splendid character. 

It was my good fortune to know him intimately for 
many years. He first attracted the attention of the Ameri- 
can people as a dashing cavalry officer in the civil war, 
where, on account of his own merit and gallant services at 
the front, he rose to high rank, succeeded to important 
commands, and won great distinction. He was a typical 
volunteer soldier of the Union Army. 

As commander in chief of the Grand Army of the Repub- 
lic, as the governor of Michigan, as the Secretary of 
War, and, finally, as United States Senator, he filled con- 

5 s Memorial . iddresses: Russell A. Alger 

spicuous places and rendered great services to his comrades, 
his State, and the nation. But great as are his claims up< m 
us because of these distinguished services, I shall always 
think of him first because of his excellent qualities as 
a man. Amid the busy cares of his active life he never 
forgot the claims upon him of others. He was one of the 
most considerate of men. I never knew one freer from 
envy, jealousy, malice, and every other kind of ill disposi- 
tion toward others. He was always modest, generous, even 
tempered, and lovable. 

Nothing gratified him so much as to do a favor or extend 
help to those who were honestly struggling against odds in 
the battle of life. 

His family relations and home life were ideal. There 
love and affection reigned supreme ; and so it is that from 
whatever view may be taken of his life, character, and 
public services there comes a real inspiration to emulate 
his example. 

Again regretting that I can not be present to elaborate 
these suggestions, I remain, 
Very truly, yours, etc., 

J. B. Forakkk. 

Hon. J. C. Burrows, 

United States Senate, Washington, D. C. 

Address of Mr. Smith, of Michigan 59 

Address of Mr. Smith, of Michigan 
Mr. President: To pay tribute to the deserving, to 
shower eulogy upon the dead, is the custom of ages and 
the privilege of friends. 

This historic Chamber, the scene of so many fierce polit- 
ical controversies and the abode of ^ much affectionate 
aood will, is at once the tribune of popular expression, the 
forum of reflection, and the theater of action harmoniously 


Here the voices of the strong have been raised for the 
weak and the soldier of destiny has drawn his sword in 
royal battle. Here the favored son of fortune and the victor 
over circumstances have poured out their souls in tuneful 
harmony, and history recalls no loftier aspirations than 
have moved the hearts and minds of men in this high place. 
It is fitting, indeed, that from the vexatious affairs of 
state we turn in tearful contemplation to one whose life- 
typified his country's greatness and in whose death the 
shadows fall tinted with mellow glow. 

Born in an humble cottage, his early life burdened with 
the perplexities of poverty and the difficult problems of 
existence, he soon mastered both himself and circumstances, 
and marked a royal trail through the forest of life, romantic 
and thrilling in individual intensity. 

To make his way alone from an humble frontier cabin to 
this exalted station, leaving monuments of generosity and 

60 Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

enterprise along the stormy path he tranversed, is. indeed, 
the priceless privilege of few. 

Laborer, lawyer, soldier, statesman, this busy man 
unlocked with his magic key the hidden treasures of com- 
merce, and with dauntless spirit leveled forests, cleft moun- 
tains in twain, and delved with pick and shovel and spade, 
guided only by his flickering lamp and his stout heart, to 
the choicest gifts of mother earth. 

Then with lavish hand he scattered his generous bounty 
into the lap of the poor and the unfortunate until the widow 
and the orphan, the sick and the distressed, came to look 
upon this goodly man as religion personified, while that 
vast army of newsboys in the city of his home, whom he 
met each year in princely conclave, came to look upon his 
kindly face with reverential awe, drawing from his inspir- 
ing life lessons of comfort and hope, pointing the way to 
the very summit of the possibilities of American manhood. 

To blaze the way with ax and saw, to pore with patient 
vigil over the baffling intricacies of the law, and just as he 
had taken to his heart the queenly wife who sustained and 
aided him with such noble dignity and womanly poise in 
life's great battle, to leave all and risk his life upon count- 
less battlefields is to do that which only a manly man can do. 

( >l>stacles only stimulated him. Danger fired his imag^i- 
nation and strengthened his resolution; povert) spurred 
him to greater endeavor, and disappointment could not dis- 
courage him nor alter his plans. 

Tall, lithe, agile, strong, he broke the bonds of ciicum- 
stances and cleared his own pathway to the highest goal, 
never doing injustice to any man. His fascinating figure 

Address of Mr. Smith of Michigan 61 

became familiar to his countrymen as he moved with 
modest but intrepid mein, whether in the thickest of the 
fray upon the field of battle or in executive, administrative, 
or Senatorial office. His radiating and inspiring person- 
ality stimulated alike the old and the young; and when at 
last the strain of active life bore too heavily upon him and 
his big heart broke, his noble character took on again the 
sweetness of gentle childhood, and he found his greatest 
comfort in mingling quietly and uncomplainingly among 
his fellows or in sharing the joys of his beautiful home, 
where worthy sons and sympathetic daughters vied with 
wife and mother in a home life that was perfect in its love- 
liness and in which no discordant note was ever heard. 

Senator ALGER died like the soldier that he was. In the 
midst of every earthly blessing, richly dowered with the love 
of friends, he sat under the sword of fate, unmoved by fear 
and unawed by the shadow of death. 

He passed away in the gentle quiet of the early dawn, 
the morning sun filling his death chamber with rich radi- 
ance, typical of his life among men. 

About his bier gathered the mighty of State and nation. 
Soldiers in martial array rode sadly but proudly by his 
corpse. The flag of his country, which he had defended so 
bravely, was his pall, enshrouding the dead chieftain in its 
graceful folds, while the remembrance of his loving country- 
men constitutes his priceless mausoleum. 

Mr. President, from this Chamber Michigan has gathered 
up the sacred dust of many noble sons who have borne with 
conspicuous honor the commission of our State. 

62 Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

Cass and Howard, Chandler and Ferry, Conger and Bald- 
win, Stockbridge and McMillan wrought mightily and faith- 
fully for their country, and the people of our Commonwealth 
treasure their ashes in memory's golden urn. 

To-day we lovingly lay upon the shores of the limitless 
sea this last contribution to our immortal dead. 

O unseen oarsman, gently, lovingly, tenderly, and hope- 
fully bear him across the dark river, made wider by our 
affection and deepened by our tears. 

This Chamber may have echoed with more eloquent 
voices, and abler statesmen may have trod this matchless 
way; but no kindlier, gentler, manlier man was ever carried 
through yonder portals than the late modest, unassuming 
Senator from Michigan. 

Proceedings in the House 63 


Thursday, January _y, 190?. 
The House met at 12 o'clock noon. 

The Chaplain, Rev. Henry N. Couden, D. D., offered the 
following prayer : 

Our Father in heaven, we meet this morning- in the 
shadow of the death of Senator Alger, of Michigan, a 
man who for more than forty years, as soldier and statesman, 
has been conspicuous in the service of his country. 

Our sympathies go out to the bereaved family and the 
stricken friends, and we most fervently pray that we may 
live so close to Thee that when our time comes we may 
be prepared to pass on and take up whatever awaits us in 
some other world; with faith, and trust, and confidence, 
and fortitude, in the spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. 
The Speaker laid before the House a message from the 
Senate announcing that the Senate had passed the follow- 
ing resolution: 

Resolved, That the Senate has heard with deep regret and profound 
sorrow of the deatli of Hon. RUSSELL A. Alger, late a Senator from the 
State of Michigan. 

Resolved, That a committee of twelve Senators be appointed by the 
Vice-President to take order for superintending the funeral of Mr. Alger. 
which shall take place at his late residence on Saturday, January 26, at 
2 o'clock p. m., and that the Senate will attend the same. 

Resolved, That as a further mark of respect his remains he removed 
from his late home in this city to Detroit. Mich., for burial, in charg. -1 
the Sergeaut-at-Arms, attended by the committee, who shall have full 
power to carry these resolutions into effect, and that the Sergeant-at-Arms 

64 Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

be directed to invite the Representatives from the State of Michigan to 
join the committee appointed by the Senate to escort the remains of the 
deceased to his place of burial. 

Resolved, That the Secretary communicate a copy of these resolutions 
to the House of Representatives. 

Resolved, That as a further mark of respect to the memory of the 
deceased the Senate do nou adjourn. 

And that in compliance with the foregoing the Vice-Presi- 
dent had appointed as said committee Mr. Burrows, Mr. 
Five, Mr. Daniel, Mr. Nelson, Mr. Warren, Mr. Spooner, 
Mr. Scott, Mr. Dillingham, Mr. Foster, Mr. Patterson, 
Mr. Dick, and Mr. Crane. 

Mr. Bishop. Mr. Speaker, I am called upon to perform 
.1 sad duty on behalf of my colleagues from Michigan 
and myself, in announcing to the country the death of 
Hon. RUSSELL A. Alger, Senator from Michigan. 

This announcement conies at a time of peculiar fitness, 
at an hour when this House has been engaged in the con- 
sideration of a bill granting pensions to those who have 
served their country as soldiers and sailors of this Republic 
and to their widows and orphans. The distinguished 
Senator who has passed out of service in the Senate this 
day spent the years of his early manhood in adding luster 
to the name of the American volunteer soldier in sixty-six 
battles and skirmishes. He was commissioned captain of 
volunteers in August, 1861, major in 1862, lieutenant- 
colonel in 1863, brevet brigadier-general of volunteers for 
distinguished service in the field in 1864, brevet major- 
general of volunteers for distinguished bravery on the field 
in 1865, commander in chief of the Grand Army of the 
Republic in 1889. He was elected governor of the State 
of Michigan in 1884, appointed Secretary of War by Presi- 

Proceedings in the House 65 

dent McKinley in 1897, and chosen to represent the great 
State of Michigan in the United States Senate in 1902. 
He has enjoyed many honors bestowed by the admiring 
citizens of his State, but in the discharge of every public 
position he has earned the universal credit of duty well 
done. At some future time I shall ask the House to set 
aside a day to present proper eulogies on his life, char- 
acter, and public service. 

For the present I offer the following resolutions, which I 
send to the Clerk's desk to be read. 

The Clerk read as follows : 

Resolved, That the House has heard with profound sorrow of the 
death of Hon. RUSSELL A. Alger, a Senator of the United States from 
the State of Michigan. 

Resolved, That the Clerk communicate these resolutions to the 
Senate and transmit a copy thereof to the family of the deceased Senator. 

Resolved, That a committee of twelve Members be appointed on the 
part of the House to join the committee appointed on the part of the 
Senate to attend the funeral. 

Resolved, That as a further mark of respect the House do now adjourn. 

The Speaker. The question is on agreeing to all the 
resolutions except the last. 

The resolutions, except the last one, were unanimously 
agreed to. 

In pursuance of the foregoing resolutions, the Speaker 
announced the following committee on the part of the 
House: Mr. R. P. Bishop, Mr. William Alden Smith, Mr. 
Samuel W. Smith, Mr. Charles E. Townsend, Mr. Edwin 
Denby, Mr. Washington Gardner, Mr. H. R. Burton, Mr. 
M. L- Smyser, Mr. J. A. Goulden, Mr. John H. Small, Mr. 
David A. De Armond, and Mr. A. P. Pujo. 
S. Doc. 405, 59-2 5 

66 Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

The Speaker. The question is on agreeing to the last 

The question was taken; and the last resolution was 
agreed to. 

Accordingly (at 2 o'clock and 30 minutes p. in.) the 

House adjourned. 

Monday, February 18, 1907. 

Mr. Denby. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent for 
the present consideration of the order which I send to the 

The Clerk read as follows : 

Ordered, That the session of the House on Sunday, February 24, 1907, 
be held at 10 o'clock a. m., and that the time until 12 o'clock noon be set 
apart for memorial addresses on the life, character, and public services of 
Hon. RUSSELL A. ALGER, late a Senator from the State of Michigan. 

The Speaker. Is there objection? [After a pause.] 
The Chair hears none. 

The question was taken ; and the resolution was agreed to. 

Sunday, February jy, rpoj 

The House met at 10 o'clock a. m. 

Prayer by the Chaplain, Rev. Henry N. Couden, D. D., as 

Let not your heart be troubled : ye believe in God, believe 
also in me. 

In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not 
so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for'you. 
For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle 
ivere dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not 
made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 

For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with 
our house 'which is from heaven: 

Proceedings in the House 67 

IJ so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 

/-(>/- we that arc in this tabernacle do groan, being bur- 
dened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon 
that mortality might be swallowed up of life. 

Now he that hath wrought for us the selfsame thing is 
God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. 

For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor 
angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present. 
nor things to come. 

Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able 
to separate us from the /ore of God, which is in Christ fesus 
our Lord. 

Eternal God, our heavenly Father, whose heart goes out 
in approbation and love to those who seek to do Thy will 
and thus add to the sum of human happiness and depart- 
in." leave the world a little better that they have lived and 

We thank Thee for the men whose characters and deeds 
we are here to memorialize, men whose gifts and talents fit- 
ted them in an eminent degree for the onerous duties laid 
upon them by their fellow-citizens. Let Thy blessing, we 
beseech Thee, be upon this service, that those who shall 
record their tribute of love and respect may inspire those: 
who shall come after them to faithful service. 

We thank Thee for the hope of immortality which lifts 
us in our better moments to larger life and nobler deeds and 
which bids us look forward to a brighter world beyond the 
confines of earth. Let Thine everlasting arms be about 
those who mourn the loss of their dear ones, and in Thine 
own good time bring them to dwell together in one of the 

68 Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

many mansions prepared for those who love the Lord, and 
Thine be the praise forever. Amen. 

Mr. Denby. Mr. Speaker, I offer the following resolu- 
tions, which I send to the desk and ask to have read. 

The Clerk read as follows : 

Resolved, That the business of the House be now suspended that oppor- 
tunity may be given for tributes to the memory of Hon. RUSSELL A. 
Alger, late a Senator from the State of Michigan. 

Resolved, That as a particular mark of respect to the memory of the 
deceased and in recognition of his distinguished public career, the House, 
at the conclusion of the exercises of this day, shall stand adjourned. 

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

Resolved, That the Clerk send a copy of these resolutions to the family 
of the deceased. 

The Speaker pro tempore. The question is on agreeing 
to the resolutions. 

The question was taken, and the resolutions were 
agreed to. 

Mr. Denby. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that 
leave to print upon the subject of the day's exercises be 
extended to all Members of the House for a period of 
ten days. 

The Speaker pro tempore. Is there objection? 

There was no objection, and it was so ordered. 

Address of Mr. Denby, of Michigan 69 


Address of Mr. Denby, of Michigan 
Mr. SPEAKER: The truest tribute to the departed is the 
silent requiem that chants in the hearts of a great people 
when death comes to a loved and honored leader. We who 
remain may vie with one another in the superlatives of 
praise, we may exhaust the language of eulogy— we do not 
add one jot or tittle to the fair fame of the illustrious dead. 
As it is beyond our power to take from him any part of 
that respect and love that have been his reward in life, so 
it is idle to suppose that we can control the hand of history 
and by our feeble efforts make him nobler, better, greater 
than he was. He, the dead, whom we vainly strive to 
exalt, gains nothing by our praise. His place is secure, and 
the story of his life becomes a cherished possession— his 
legacy to the living. 

We have gathered here to-day to pay this public honor 
to our lamented Senator, RUSSELL A. Alger. But the 
great heart of Michigan has rendered to him in death an 
honor so perfect that no eulogy spoken here can add to its 
simple dignity. What tribute can there be so earnest 
and so pure as the bowed heads and the bitter tears of a 
mourning populace? 

Michigan, which so greatly honored him in life, received 
him home as a sorrowing mother receives the body of her 

70 Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

Son. Upon a day of bitter cold the train arrived. Snow 
covered the streets of Detroit. It was Sunday morning, 
and, free from the engagements of their week-da}' toil, the 
citizens of the Senator's home chose to spend their holidav 
standing in the rigors of the open air to pay their sad trib- 
ute. The beautiful city opened wide her tender arms and 
took him to her heart again. The scene suggested another 
great occasion, when, having left the Cabinet of President 
McKinley, the affectionate sympathy of Detroit went out 
to him and she made him welcome home. Then flags and 
music and might}' cheers showed their lovaltv and devo- 
tion; but when last he returned the concourse that filled all 
the thoroughfares stood silent and stricken as he passed 
them by. As one was the generous outburst of sympathy 
and honor, that all the world might know how true to the 
living statesman beat the heart of Michigan when causeless 
slight was put upon him, so the other was the reverent ex- 
pression of her grief when he came home to stav forever. 
And upon the next day, when the last honors were paid 
and the bugles sounded taps over the soldier's grave, again 
in the winter weather the people of Michigan came out to 
say farewell. The streets were crowded, the cemetery 
thronged with a silent multitude. All classes, all ages, all 
conditions, one purpose — to honor General Alger, repre- 
sentative and friend to all, benefactor to many. Delicate 
women, busy men, veterans of the great war, worn and 
feeble that their country might be safe and strong, the 
sires of '61 and the sons of '98, all standing bareheaded in 
the snow when the General came home. 

Address of Mr. Denby, of Michigan 71 

Ah, sir, there was tribute, there was eulogy, such as few 
receive. What inspiration to the living in this high honor 
to the dead! And these scenes, Mr. Speaker, but latelv I 
was witness of. With the thought of this living, throbbing 
eulogy so freshly present in my mind, Mr. Speaker, do von 
think I can try to-day to eulogize Michigan's loved Sena- 
tor? But there is no study more inspiring than that of the 
nation's patriots, who in many walks of life have illustrated 
the energy, adaptability, and capacity that have always 
marked the men of America ; there is no dutv more erate- 
fid than that of paying loving respect to their memorv. 
That study and that duty are ours to-dav. 

General Alger was a typical product of his dav and 
nation. It is the glory of our country that this is so. 
Many other of his contemporaries raised themselves by 
their unaided efforts, as he did, from poverty to affluence, 
from obscurity to fame. Main- other men fought gallantly 
at his side in the great struggle of 1861 — the new birth of 
freedom upon this continent. It is well with a nation 
when this is so. I take nothing from his fame when I sax- 
he came into being in a generation when the great emer- 
gency raised up many great men to meet it ; great fighters 
like himself, great statesmen, great patriots. It is said that 
even- emergency breeds its master, as the Revolution bred 
Washington ; as the civil war, Lincoln ; the military exi- 
gency, Grant, when it seemed that Grant, and only Grant, 
could wear out the gallant forces of the South. But it 
seems to me that, be the emergency great enough, it will 
breed, in this country at least, not one man, but a nation of 
men of giant mold — men fit to cope with anything ; men of 

7 2 Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

one idea, if yon like ; men at least with but one fear, and 
that of dishonor. 

The civil-war epoch was the heroic period of our national 
life. Men grew to their full stature then. So terrible a 
struggle, waged on both sides for principle's sake, could not 
fail to develop the greatest qualities in the character of its 
participants. When a man leaves all that home may mean 
to incur the horrors of march and battlefield, and offers upon 
the altar of his countrv and his concience health and life 
and hope of the future, there is, Mr. Speaker, something 
stirring within him that proves him one with the Eternal. 
And when an entire nation dedicates itself to furious war- 
fare, one part against another of the same great people, for 
four long years, and gladly suffers all the unspeakable 
agonies of that awful struggle until from very exhaustion 
the sword falls from the hand of one party to the conflict, 
may we not say, sir, that that nation was not born to die? 
It, too, has shown itself of the immortals. I do not propose 
to burden this paper with statistics; but, sir, to show where 
Michigan stood during this time and what she did to prove 
her right of equality in the sovereign sisterhood of States, I 
give you these facts only: 

On the outbreak of the war there were in Michigan 
about 775,000 inhabitants. During the war Michigan sent 
to the Federal Army 90,747 soldiers, or about 12 per cent 
of the entire population and about 60 per cent of her able- 
bodied sons. Of the 90,747 men and boys who served 
under the flag, 177 officers were killed on the field, 85 
officers died of wounds, and 96 of disease- — 358 in all; and 
2,643 men were killed, 1,302 died of wounds, and 10,552 

Address of Mr. Denby, of Michigan 73 

died of disease, or 14,497 enlisted men, a total of all ranks 
who died during the war of 14,855 — about 16 per cent of all 
soldiers engaged from the State. This does not take into 
account the great host whose lives were shortened and whose 
health was destroyed. A notable fact in regard to this 
splendid army of volunteers from Michigan is that 67,468 
of the men were native-born American citizens. Of the 
remainder, nearly 9,000 were Canadians, and about 13,000 
were natives of the British Isles and Germany. 

Let me call your attention to one striking fact in regard 
to the mortality list. Two hundred and sixty-two officers 
were killed or died of wounds out of a total of 358 in all 
who died. Those men were well led whose officers died in 
such numbers on the field of battle. Against the lurid 
background of the war General Alger first comes into 
public view as captain of Company C, Second Michigan 
Cavalry. Thereafter, through successive promotions, earned 
by skill in the handling of troops and gallantry on the field, 
he rose to be colonel of the Fifth Michigan Cavalry, and 
later was brevetted major-general of United States Volun- 
teers. There is not time to recite here the many conflicts 
in which he participated or the many deeds of daring he 
performed during his service in the Army. Certain it is 
that he was a brave and able soldier, leading his men with 
dash and vigor into the fiercest of the fighting, wherever it 
was to be found. He was the typical cavalrvman, infinitely 
careful of the health, comfort, and well-being of his troopers 
when care could be shown, utterly reckless of their lives 
and of his own when attacking the enemy. The whole 
great story, full as it is of romance and of valorous devotion 

74 Memorial Add) esses: Russell A. Alger 

to duty, is told in this one sentence from the Congressional 
Directory : 

Brevet major-general, United States Volunteers, June II, 1865, for gallant 
and meritorious services during the war, having participated in sixty-six 
battles and skirmishes. 

Sixty-six battles and skirmishes! Sixty-six occasions 
when death was an ever-present possibility, generally a 
probability; when the young life, with all its courage and 
all its hopes, afterwards so abundantly realized, was freely 
offered for the flag. 

Let me touch very briefly upon one only of these many 
engagements. I quote his own account of the dreadful 
days at Gettysburg, July 3 and 4, 1863. It will be remem- 
bered that the plans of Lee are supposed to haye contem- 
plated a cavalry charge on the Federal right, which, with 
Pickett's terrific onslaught on the center, was to break the 
line and give the yictory to the Confederate forces. Had 
Stuart been successful in getting to the rear of the Federal 
position, no one can tell what might haye been the out- 
come. That historic spot, now known as the " High-water 
mark of the rebellion," might haye been instead the low- 
water mark of southern reverses, from which the gray tide 
might have swept on, whither no one knows. At any rate 
it is certain that the cavalry action on the right of the 
Federal line was of critical importance. General Alger, 
in a report made to the Adjutant-General of the Army, 
July 1, 1880, thus describes the part his men took at 
Gettysburg : 

July 3. At 10 a. m., our brigade being on the right of the army, the 
enemy's cavalry, under General Stuart, appeared in our front in large 
force. I was ordered to dismount my regiment and attack him, which I 

Address of Mr. Denby, of Michigan 75 

did driving him back about half a mile and into a thick wood. Here 
he rallied and attacked me and was repulsed, but with a heavy loss to 
my regiment, as well as to him. Again he attacked me, moving round 
on my left flank, but was again repulsed. In this last attack I also sus- 
tained a serious loss, including the gallant Maj. Noah H. Ferry (brother 
of United States Senator Ferry), of my regiment. 

Rein- unable to hold my position longer, my ammunition being nearly 
exhausted and while the enemy was diverted by a charge of the Seventh 
Cavalrv Colonel Mann, on my right, I fell back and mounted my regi- 
ment ' While mounting, the enemy charged past my right flank, about 40 
rods distant driving the Seventh Michigan back in confusion. At that 
moment having mounted a portion of my command, I directed Maj,,. 
Trowbridge to take it and charge the enemy, which he did gallantly, hav- 
ing his horse shot and killed under him in so doing. 

A few moments later the balance of the regiment was engaged and the 
enemy checked and driven from the field, only, however, to rallj and 
come'dowu upon our brigade in still greater numbers. This charge was 
met by Colonel Town with his First Michigan, which had been held 1.1 
reserve until now, who charged, checked, and broke the enemy's ranks, 
driving him from the field in confusion, assisted by the other regiments 
of the brigade. 

This left our brigade in possession of that hotly contested field, and night 
having closed in, this terrible battle ended, and at our left, where the roar 
of cannon and musketrv had been kept up all day, all was a, >w quiet except 
occasional desultorv firing along the line. My loss in killed and wounded 
was very severe. Major Ferry, who was cheering his battalion to hold its 
ground,' was instantly killed. His death cast a deep gloom upon the whole 
brigade He was a gallant soldier and an exemplary mail, and his loss 
was a great blow. July 4, at 10 o'clock a. 1.1., our division marched from 
Gettysburg battlefield to intercept the enemy, who was retreating along 
the South Mountain road toward YVilliamsport. We marched, via Em- 
mettsburg, up the road leading to Monterey, a small place, as it appeared 
in the night 011 the top of South Mountain Range, the Fifth Michigan 
Cavalrv being in the advance. As we approached the summit of the 
mountain about midnight (the night being very dark) we were surprised 
by the enemv opening fire upon us with two howitzers charged with grape- 
shot, at short range. The confusion following was only for a moment, 
and thev were soon driven off and the command moved forward. Arriv- 
ing at the summit of the mountain, the trains of the enemy could be dis- 
tinctlv heard moving along down the road which intercepted the line of 
our march, the road leading down the west slope of the mountain toward 
Williamsport. Near the junction of the two roads and between us and the 
trains of the enemy was a bridge over a deep stream swollen by the heavy 
rains of the afternoon of the 4 th, which was guarded by over 1,000 of the 

76 Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

enemy's infantry. This bridge the Fifth Cavalry charged across, forming 
its line on the opposite side of the bridge by the flashes of its guns (the 
regiment being dismounted), and moved forward at a double quick upon 
the enemy and was followed by the mounted escort of General Kilpatrick. 
This charge resulted in the capture of about 1 ,500 prisoners and a large 
train of wagons, the latter extending from the top to the base of the 
mountain, which were mostly burned and the mules attached to them 
turned over to the quartermaster. I can not speak in terms of too high 
praise of the behavior of my regiment in this engagement. It was the 
most trving place it had passed through up to that time, if not during its 

General Custer, who commanded the cavalry brigade 

engaged during the battle, in his official report, made August 

22, 1863, says : 

The enemy was soon after reported to be advancing on my front. The 
detachment of fifty men sent on the Oxford road were driven in, and at 
the same time the enenvy's line of skirmishers, consisting of dismounted 
cavalry, appeared on the crest of the ridge of hills on my front. The line 
extended beyond my left. To repel their advance I ordered the Fifth 
Michigan Cavalry to a more advanced position, with instructions to main- 
tain their ground at all hazards. Colonel ALGER, commanding the Fifth, 
assisted by Majors Trowbridge and Ferry, of the same regiment, made 
such admirable disposition of their men behind fences and other defenses 
as enabled them to successfully repel the repeated advance of a greatly 
superior force. I attribute their success in a great measure to the fact that 
this regiment is armed with the Spencer repeating rifle, which, in the 
hands of brave, determined men, like those composing the Fifth Michigan 
Cavalry, is, in my estimation, the most effective firearm that our cavalry 
can adopt. Colonel ALGER held his ground until his men had exhausted 
their ammunition, when he was compelled to fall back on the main body. 
The beginning of this movement was the signal for the enemy to charge, 
which they did with two regirrients, mounted and dismounted. 

During his military career General Alger was at differ- 
ent times severely wounded, captured by the enemy, but 
escaped, and stricken with fever. 

When at last the war was over he returned to Michigan 
and took up the pursuits of peace with the same courage, 
vigor, and intelligence that marked his military career. 

Address of Mr. Denby, of Michigan jj 

He had no fortune to repair, but one to make. The rap- 
idly growing business of the State and the great lumber 
industry, then in its infancy, offered opportunities of which 
he was not slow to avail himself. By his own ability and 
farsighted business skill he made a great success in busi- 
ness and was soon numbered among the most prosperous 
and influential men in the State, and so remained until his 

Michigan has always loved and honored the General. 
She made him her governor, then the President made him 
Secretary of War, and after he had left that position Michi- 
gan sent him to the United States Senate. It was un- 
pleasant privilege, as a member of the legislature of 1903, 
to make the first seconding speech in behalf of General 
Alger. Upon that occasion I was so impressed with the 
unanimity of the sentiment in his favor that I referred to 
this vote in the legislature as merely confirmatory of the 
action of the people, taken by popular vote, without the 
formality of a ballot. 

If I were asked to name the qualities of General Alger 
which more than any other accounted for his remarkable 
success in political life and for the devotion of his friends, 
I would say his kindness, generosity, tact, and sweetness of 
disposition, the great human attributes that charm and 
attract and make the world akin. His course through life 
was marked by many deeds of unostentatious charity. How 
much he gave will never be known, but that his bounties 
were very large is certain from the occasional instances 
brought to public notice. In Detroit he was mourned by 

78 Memorial Addresses: Russell A. . llger 

none more sincerely than by the newsboys of that city. 
They have there a large organization, consisting of six or 
seven hundred members, called the "Newsboys' Associa- 
tion." General Alger helped the boys in and out of the 
association with clothing and other necessaries and with 
his kindly cheer, year after year, until he became the 
"newsboys' friend," a badge of honor he was well worthy 
to wear. How many other persons there are who regard 
his passing as the loss of their best earthly friend can 
not be known. His charities he tried to hide, but you 
will hear to-day some instances that could not be concealed. 
He rendered back to society in constant benefactions the 
riches it gave to him. He was one of the kindest, most 
lovable men in public life. 

Mr. Speaker, General Alger met death as a friendly 
messenger, not unexpected and, save for the pain of parting 
from those whom he loved so well, and who in their sorrow 
have our tenderest sympathy, the summons was not unwel- 
come. He faced the end in that perfect peace that is the 
reward of a life well lived. He was engaged to the last in 
the discharge of the duties of his high office, and when the 
time came it found him read)- to go. I think Tennvson's 
last poem gave General Alger's feeling toward death so 
clearly I quote it here: 

Sunset and evening star 

And one clear call for me, 
And may there be no moaning of the bar 

When I put out to sea. 

But such a tide as moving seems asleep. 

Too full for sound and foam, 
When that which drew from out the boundless deep 

Turns again home. 

Address of Mr. Denby, of Michigan 79 

Twilight and evening bell 

And after that the dark, 
And may there be no sadness of farewell 

When I embark. 
For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place 

The floods may bear me far, 
I hope to see my Pilot face to face 

When I have crost the bar. 

So Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

Address of Mr. Smith, of Michigan 

Mr. Speaker: In keeping with a custom of many years 
in this honorable body, this hour and this day has been set 
apart to do honor to the memory of the distinguished dead. 

I accept this opportunity to pay tribute to one who in 
life was my friend and in whose death I experienced a per- 
sonal loss; one whom I hold in affectionate remembrance 
for his genial and kindly qualities, for his broad love of 
humanity, and his generous soul. 

I became acquainted with him while serving in the State 
senate. He was then governor of Michigan. I there 
became impressed with his sterling qualities which the exi- 
gencies of life had developed in him. He was the soul of 
honor in politics, the same as in even- other relation in life. 

Russell A. Alger was born in Lafayette Township, 
Medina County, Ohio, February 27, 1836. His parents 
died when he was but 1 1 years of age. He was then com- 
pelled to provide for himself, laboring on the farm at small 
wages, attending school winters and until he acquired an 
education ; then, having completed a course in law, he was 
admitted to the supreme court of Ohio in 1859, and in May, 
1885, the degree of LL. D. was conferred on him by Hills- 
dale College. 

He removed to the comparatively new State of Michigan 
in the latter part of 1859 and engaged in the business of 

Address of Mr. Smith, of Michigan 81 

lumbering, then in its infancy, laying the foundation of his 

Events were stirring and destiny was preparing for the 
noble and distinguished career which he has so honorably 

Abraham Lincoln called for volunteers and Russell A. 
Alger responded, entering the Army in 1861 as captain of 
Company C, Second Michigan Cavalry, and rose through 
successive ranks to brevet brigadier-general, then was bre- 
vetted major-general, United States Volunteers, for distin- 
guished bravery and meritorious services during the war. 

At the close of the war he became extensively engaged 
in the lumber business and other industries, and being 
possessed of those qualities of mind and heart which make 
for success in the self-made man — courage and sound busi- 
ness judgment — in assuming again the arts of peace he 
accumulated, by honest means and methods, a large fortune, 
which he has generously used for the betterment of 

I leave to others more intimately acquainted to tell the 
story of the thousands of homes and hearts made comfort- 
able and happy by his generous love. 

It sometimes happens that commercial relations make 
political relations expedient and to be desired. General 
Alger was always a consistent and devoted Republican. 

He was honored as a delegate to the Republican national 
convention in 1884, and that same year was elected gov- 
ernor. His large business interests forbade his accepting a 
renomination in 1886. During his term as governor his 

S. Doc. 405. 59-2 6 

82 Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

name was frequently mentioned in connection with the 
office of United .States Senator,' but he cast it aside for the 
time being, saying that he "would like to represent his 
State in the Senate sometime." 

He was a candidate for President at the Republican 
national convention in 1888, Michigan casting her vote 
solidly for him on every ballot. 

In 1889 he was elected commander in chief of the Grand 
A run- of the Republic, and more than once he feelingly 
expressed his gratitude for this honor bestowed on him by 
his comrades. He prized it as one of the greatest honors of 
his life. 

President McKinley appointed him Secretary of War in 
1797, which portfolio he resigned in August, 1899. He 
urged President McKinley earlier in the same year to accept 
his resignation, but the President refused to do so. On the 
merits of the work performed by the War Department dur- 
ing this period, the War Investigation Commission has said: 

After thirty-three years of peace, during a great part of which the 
Army did not exceed 26,000 men, it suddenly became necessary to arm, 
clothe, feed, and equip more than a quarter of a million. 

The sudden emergency which called our people to arms after an interval 
of half a century of peace with all foreign powers was met by the War 
Department with earnestness and energy. The situation found the coun- 
try unprepared with any large stock of arms, ammunition, clothing, sup- 
plies, and equipments. That they were duly provided and that the 
numerous demands on the industries of our people were met so promptly 
will remain one of the marvels of history. 

I assert without fear of successful contradiction that when 
the historian comes to write an unbiased opinion of his 
conduct of the War Department it will be told that he was 
one of the best of Secretaries of War. 

Address of Mr. Smith, of Michigan 83 

Upon his retirement from the Cabinet he returned to 
Michigan, where thousands of citizens gathered to welcome 
her honored hero as a testimonial of their appreciation of 
his sincerity of purpose and his ability in administering 
the affairs of his office, as thousands have so recently gath- 
ered to pay the last sad tribute to the man who died brave 
and true, full of years and full of honors, whose life was 
part of the history of his time and, as one has said: "For. 
his gallant conduct upon the battlefield of life he has been 
promoted to a higher service." 

As husband, father, and friend the white flower of a 
blameless life is left as a priceless legacy of love to the 
inner circle of home. That life will ever be an inspiration 
to the youth of our land. 

84 Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

Address of Mr. Lacey, of Iowa 

"Six. Speaker: I will not speak at any great length upon 
the life, services, and memory of General Alger. The 
Representatives from the great State of Michigan will do 
this fully, as his character deserves. Iowa originally was a 
part of the Louisiana Purchase, subsequently was transferred 
to the Territory of Michigan, and so for a time the State 
which I have the honor in part to represent was a part of the 
Territory of Michigan. Our ties were then close and inti- 
mate, and we of Iowa have always retained a profound inter- 
est in the affairs of that splendid sister State. The statue of 
General Cass stands in Statuary Hall, the old Hall of the 
House of Representatives, a Valhalla in which the patriot 
dead of America will be commemorated. There is a place 
in that hall for General Alger, and whether chosen for 
that place or not, he has a more enduring place in the hearts 
of the people of the State which he has so greatly honored. 

In the civil war he became a general. He filled all the 
positions to which he was there called with the highest 
honor and ability, and shed his blood upon many battle- 
fields in behalf of his country and of his flag. 

I recall a political trip which was planned in the cam- 
paign of 1896 for General Alger— a wounded Union soldier 
and a general of high distinction — with General Sickles and 
General Howard — Sickles with but one leg and Howard but 
one ami — the three of them passing from State to State, 

Address of Air. Lacey, of loua 85 

speaking briefly at different points, receiving an ovation that 
they so well earned during the davs of the civil war. 

General Alger's career in that war will alwavs be pointed 
to with especial pride by Michigan. Michigan has honored 
him with high office as governor of the State and as Senator 
of the United States. He was chosen durino- a critical 
period for the position of Secretary of War, and the Spanish 
war was conducted under his administration. For his part 
in that war he never received the credit that he deserved, but. 
in the language of Shakespeare, "did not escape calumny." 

In Roman triumph it was the custom to select a number 
of people to hoot at the conqueror as he passed by, to teacli 
him that he was mortal. 

But mourners only appeared to watch the funeral train of 
the same conqueror when death had claimed him. 

When the Spanish war had closed there were those who 
were anxious to point out every flaw that could be found in 
the wonderful record of that brief but heroic epoch. Time 
has vindicated and will continue to vindicate General 
Alger's service in that war. His service and that of Gen- 
eral Shafter will be written in the history of the American 
Republic. General Shafter, who with 19,000 men sur- 
rounded and captured 29,000 Spaniards, received obloquy 
and carping criticism for his heroism and success. He did 
not break into the magazines in his own defense, but 
intrusted his career to time and to historv, and that career 
will receive the due credit which it deserves. The Ameri- 
can historian will be just. General Alger, while directing 
from the office of Secretary of War the management of that 
great war, great at least in its results, though brief in time. 

86 Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

never received the credit that he deserved. In one hun- 
dred and thirteen days the Spanish power was erased from 
the map in two hemispheres and the history of the world 
was changed. Mr. Speaker, there is no such thing as a 
resultless war. We may have the wireless telegraph, we 
may have the smokeless powder, we may have the crown- 
less king or queen, but there is no such thing as a result- 
less war ; and the results of that brief war of one hundred 
and thirteen days will figure much in the history not only 
of the United States of America, but of the world. 

General Alger's ability in conducting the hurried details 
of that improvised war will be written to his honor in 
the future accounts of the nineteenth century. On next 
Wednesday the seventieth birthday of General Alger will 
have arrived. He almost filled out, though not quite, the 
allotted three score years and ten of man. Those were hon- 
orable years. He was recognized for his true worth by those 
who knew him best and stood by him through evil and good 
report, and his State rallied around him and sent him to 
the Senate of the United States and would have elected 
him again if he had so desired, but failing health led him 
to make the announcement that he did not desire that dis- 
tinction, and he failed to serve out quite the full term for 
which he was chosen. He was often spoken of for the 
Presidency. He was formally nominated in more than one 
national convention. Well do I remember, Mr. Speaker, 
the enthusiasm with which his name was received in 1888 
in the Chicago convention when a soldier of his old regi- 
ment, who had after the civil war cast his lot in the South 
and had come up as a delegate to that convention, spoke 

Address of Mr. Lacey, of Iowa 87 

about the various men who had been thought of and sug- 
gested, both before the meeting of the convention and on 
the floor of that convention, describing the heroism of Gen- 
eral Alger without naming him. He finally came to the 
statement, "What is the matter with ALGER?" and a cry 
went up from the convention " He's all right," and there 
was a battle cry born right there on the floor of that con. 
vention. From that answer originated a phrase which has 
been upon the tongues of millions of all kinds of men in 
public meetings from that day down to the time General 
ALGER'S honorable career was rounded out with the sleep 
that knows no waking. YVe meet here this cold, blusterv, 
wintry day, selecting the holy Sabbath day to honor his 
memory in the closing hours of the Fifty-ninth Congress, 
when night sessions have overworked both of the bodies 
which make up the American Congress. We stop during 
these hurried hours in the closing days of this session to do 
honor to a man who has honored his State, honored his 
nation, and who has brought credit and distinction to the 
great legislative body of which this House is a part. 

I wish, Mr. Speaker, simply to lay upon the snow which 
covers his grave to-day a wreath from Iowa in memorv of 
Michigan's distinguished soldier, citizen, and statesman. 

88 Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

Address of Me. Fordney, of Michigan 

Mr. Speaker: To-day we meet in commemoration of 
one of the most illustrious sons of the great State of Mich- 
igan, and I deem it a profound privilege to here speak a 
few words in behalf of the memory of such an one as the 
late Senator Rrssi'.i.i. A. Ai.ger. 

Mr. Speaker, I had known the deceased for over thirty 
years — in fact, from my early manhood. I had known him 
as an employer, as a private citizen, as a public man, and 
as a friend ; and from that extended acquaintance with 
him I feel that my life has been enriched and ennobled to 
an extent far beyond my present ability to express. His 
life was so full of goodness, the purity, the simplicity, and 
the faithfulness so lacking in the most of us that justice 
can not be done his memory in the brief time I feel that I 
am privileged to ask at the hands of this House. 

Much will be said and much has been said here and else- 
where of our departed brother in more fitting phrases and 
loftier speech than it is my ability to command, but I 
doubt much whether any will hold the memorv of that 
man in as loving reverence as do I by reason of my long 
acquaintance and association with him. 

Senator Alger came to Michigan a young man, poor as 
viewed from the standpoint of latter-day greatness but rich 
in the eyes of God. He came with the muck of the furrow 

Address of Mr. Fordney, of Michigan 89 

on his feet, but with a heart of sterling manhood beating in 
his breast. He came to us when to live in Michigan meant 
more than mere sweat of brow, when it meant a fight with 
the help of the strong right arm of the Lord, when it meant 
unswerving trust in a power higher than humanity can be- 
stow, and when it meant to know no defeat in the face of 
seeming failure. He faced the obstacles of the sturdy pio- 
neer of his day with the fortitude that predicted his future 
success. He helped us hew our homes in the vast forest 
fastnesses of the great State ; he helped us la} - the founda- 
tion of our State government ; he helped us to build what 
we have builded ; he toiled with us, arm to arm and shoul- 
der to shoulder, from our infancy to our present greatness, 
and whatever glory there may have been achieved by the 
vState of Michigan, in either national or State affairs, his 
hand has been one of the guiding influences pointing to us 
the right way and helping our faint and faltering footsteps 
when we would turn back. 

Mr. Speaker, not an avenue of the life of our great Com- 
monwealth, be it religious, commercial, or political, is there 
but that has felt the beneficent touch of his gentle influence. 
He was with us in all our undertakings, and while many 
times honored at the hands of his adopted State, yet the 
gratitude thus expressed for him falls far short of just com- 
pensation for his life's efforts and sacrifices in her behalf. 

His early life in Michigan was spent in the woods when 
the lumber industry in that State was paramount, and as a 
lumberman he laid the foundation of his future prosperity. 

As a young man among us, forgetful of self, at the sacri- 
fice of opportunity, as it seemed then, at a time when hope 

go Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

and honest effort count for much in the lives of young men, 
he put behind him all personal ambitions ; the then present 
opportunities became secondary in his thought, and with the 
zeal and love of a true American, in the year 1861, offered 
himself, his hopes, and his ambitions that his State and his 
countrv might be saved. His was a life and character to 
which war, with its attendant horrors and deprivations, did 
not appeal. He had other aims in life than that of marches 
and battle, but to his great sense of duty and patriotism 
there were no two ways. 

His not to reason why. 
His but to do and die. 

The necessity of his motherland was paramount. To 
know that she needed him was enough, and he went. His 
services in the war between the States, his achievements 
and sacrifices, his rise from the humble position of a captain 
of a company to the higher rank of brevet major-general, 
United States Volunteers, is fittingly chronicled elsewhere. 

On his return to us at the close of the war, bearing the 
scars and stains of his active and eventful participation 
therein, unchanged and untarnished by the glories of con- 
quest and the flattery of an admiring Commonwealth, in his 
gentle and retiring manner he took up the thread of life 
where it had been severed ; he started where he had left off, 
never fearing, nothing daunted, and by that indomitable 
perseverance so characteristic of his every effort and ambi- 
tion, never for a moment regretting the time he had given 
for the preservation of the Union, unaided, save by his silent 
reliance on that ever-present source of strength, he built the 

Address of Mr. Fordney, of Michigan 91 

foundation of a career, both private and public, attained by 

It was some years after his return from the war that I be- 
came acquainted with him, and at that time he was well on 
the road to success which so fittingly crowned his even- 
effort. In later years it was my privilege to have been 
acquainted with him in his public and social life, and in all 
these opportunities of a most thorough acquaintance in all 
capacities I can say that I have never known any man 
whose confidence and esteem I have cherished more than I 
do that of Senator Alger. 

Mr. Speaker, it is scarce in this life that we find a man 
of so retiring a nature, so unassuming in every detail, so 
thoughtful of others, so unselfish and so faithful, who attains 
the position in public or private career as did Senator Alger. 
We find many admirable characteristics in all with whom 
we come in daily contact, and possibly very few undesirable 
qualities, but seldom do we find all of the virtues centering 
themselves in the life of one man that were characteristic 
of the life of Mr. Alger. His success was due to his 
nobleness of purpose, his fidelity to trust, his unswerving 
devotion to his friends and to his promises, his love for all 
mankind, and his purity of thought. A criticism once 
passed on him in my presence was that he placed too much 
reliance on everyone with whom he came in contact. Ah ! 
would that all men had that simple, childlike trust in their 
fellow-men that stamped every moment of the career of 
Senator Alger. Well may it be said that he believed all 
men, for suspicion is born of untruthfulness. And while 
Senator Alger may have suffered many times for this unfal- 

92 Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

tering trust placed in his brother men, yet that very trust 
which' has shown a life so free from blame, so free from cor- 
ruption, so full of all that is most desirable in men, has 
borne him on pinions of love above the petty suspicions, 
inferences, and insinuations usual in these days, and has 
placed him on a pinnacle unscathed and unsullied. 

Mr. Speaker, no man can love nncleanness, corruption, 
or untruthfulness in another, and I say that few men are 
loved by those who know them best as was Senator Alger 
loved by those who knew him best. To be sure, his path- 
way in life was not without its disappointments, its defeats, 
and annoyances. His public career at times was attacked, 
his purposes assailed, and his ambitions thwarted, but 
through it all, through the malignity and abuse that was 
maliciously directed at him at one stage of his public life, 
does his untarnished character shine like a lone star in the 
blackness of night. From the chaos of envy, malice, 
selfishness, and abuse he rose purer, more loving, and more 
beloved than ever. Clad in an impenetrable armor of a 
clean conscience, a pure purpose, and a love for all man- 
kind, he marched with head aloft amid the petty cross fire 
of political jealous}' and intrigue, knowing full well that 
" truth, crushed to earth, will rise again," and that the 
invectives of hatred and malice could but make the 
brighter, by the contrast, the purity expressed in his every 
thought and deed. 

He conquered because he " loved his neighbors as him- 
self," and by this love his enemies became his friends. 

It was my privilege, Mr. Speaker, to be on intimate 
terms with Mr. Alger during the declining vears of his 

Address of Mr. Fordney, of Michigan 93 

life, through periods when his dear ones daily despaired of 
his recovery. I was with him at his rallying intervals, at 
which times he most faithfully attended to his every duty, 
both public and private, and I knew his condition — learned 
it from Mr. Alger himself — and, with the deepest sense of 
gratitude for the lesson of patience, cheerfulness, and hope 
which he thus taught me, I say not one word of complaint, 
irritability, or regret did I ever hear pass his lips. Stand- 
ing in the shadow of death's valley, and knowing it, to the 
end he maintained that same kindly, God-fearing, and for- 
bearing nature that had characterized his whole life. 
Little wonder a loving family mourns the loss of such a 
husband and father; little wonder that the great State bows 
its head in silent anguish at the news of the death of 
such a son ; little wonder that a nation pauses to place 
the emblems of reverence and sorrow on his bier. 

Our friend Russell A. Alger remains with us only as 
a memory, and since his death I have heard so man}- kindly 
words spoken of him by his colleagues that it seems sad 
that living he might not have known how much we 
valued, trusted, and appreciated him. 

Bv nature he was sunny and cheerful, and the atmosphere 
about him was always warm and bright. Though possessed 
of great self-reliance, he had no frills and needed no starch 
to strengthen his dignitv. Those of us who came to know 
him best not only respected him, but learned to love him. 

Death came to him as it should come to all of us; not as 
an enemy, but as a friend; not as a defeat, but as a victor}-; 
not as an end, but as a beginning; not in the guise of a 
serpent, but in the form of an angel. Death came to him, 

94 Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

not as life's curse, but as life's coronation. His life work 
is finished, his pleasant voice is hushed, his feet no longer 
press the sands along the shores of time, but those of us 
with whom he mingled will, until our last days, be grateful 
for having known such a character; and I believe we are all 
broader, truer, and better men because our friend for a 
time sojourned with us. 

Address of Mr. Hamilton, of Michigan. 95 

Address of Mr. Hamilton, of Michigan 

Mr. Speaker: Russell A. Alger was born in a log 
cabin in Medina Comity, Ohio, in the year 1836. 

He was bom in poverty ; but it was the robust poverty 
of farm life in the earlier period of our Republic, which, 
though it knew nothing of luxury, and frequently lacked 
even the necessaries of life, was never abject. 

He was rich in the poverty of being born so poor that he 
could see something above him to struggle for. 

He was reared in poverty, but it was the poverty of boy- 
hood on the farm, rich with hope and health and ambition ; 
and it was the poverty of a time and place which drew no 
lines of caste and social distinction. 

His father and mother died when he was 1 1 years old, 
and after their death he worked for his board and clothes 
until, at the age of 14, he began to earn wages, beginning 
at $5 a mouth and increasing until at the age of 20 he was 
earning Si 5 a month. 

Meanwhile he had been going to school winters, and 
his schooling culminated with a term or two at Richfield 


In 1857 he began reading law with Wolcott & Upson, in 
Akron, Ohio, and was admitted to the bar, but he never 
practiced law ; and in 1861, having moved to Grand Rapids, 
Mich., he enlisted as a private in the Second Michigan 
Cavalry, and was commissioned captain of Company C. 
He served three years, participated in sixty-six battles and 

96 Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

skirmishes, was seriously wounded, and rose by successive 
promotions until he reached the rank of colonel, and was 
brevetted major-general for gallant and meritorious service. 

He was elected governor of Michigan in 1884, was a con- 
spicuous candidate for the Presidency in 1888, served as 
Secretary of War from 1897 to 1899, was appointed a Sen- 
ator of the United States to succeed James McMillan in 
1902, was elected to that office in 1903, and died January 
24, 1907. 

General Alger died a rich man. In 1867 he entered 
into a partnership known as "Moore, Alger & Co.," which 
evolved in 1881 into a corporation known as "R. A. Alger 
.K: Co." This partnership and this corporation dealt in 
pine timber lands. They acquired vast tracts of magnifi- 
cent pine forests, which increased in value while they held 
them until single trees were worth five times what the land 
whereon they grew had cost per acre. 

To lumber interests were added mining interests, rail- 
road interests, and banking interests, until General Alger 
became a multimillionaire. 

Victor Hugo says : "Be fortunate and you will be thought 
a great man." 

General Alger was something more than a fortunate 
man. Whatever there was of greatness in his personality 
or his career is due not alone to good fortune, but to a blend 
of certain inherent qualities — the qualities of honesty, gen- 
erosity, philanthropy, courage, and patriotism. 

These qualities alone, however, do not make major- 
generals, Secretaries of War, United States Senators, or 

Address of Mr. Hamilton, of Michigan 97 

It is possible to hold these places without these qualities, 
and many a private in the ranks has had all these qualities 
and never been heard from outside his own immediate 

Neither is it greatness in itself to have held any or all of 
these offices. There have been many major-generals, and 
some few of them may be remembered. 

There have been many members of main- Cabinets, and 
some few of them may be remembered. 

The various States from time to time have elected a 
good mam- Senators, and some few of these are still 

As to governors, there are forty-five of them now per- 
forming their executive functions, and there are two or 
three, perhaps, whose names are known beyond the bound- 
aries of their States. 

It has been estimated that about 4,000,000 people die 
every year, and the percentage of those who do things to 
make their names remembered is not high. 

It is impossible to analyze the baffling, illusive, internal 
illumination which we call personality which differentiates 
one man from another. 

There were greater lawyers than Lincoln, greater legis- 
lators than Lincoln, greater orators than Lincoln, and vet 
the personality which we call Abraham Lincoln will hold 
his name forever above the flood of years. 

By universal consent he has taken his place among the 
few great souls who belong to all time. 

We max- account for the greatness of some men whom 

S. Doc. 405, 59-2 7 

98 Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

conspicuous talent has driven on to great achievement by 

calling it the abnormality of genius. But if we point to 
most men of eminence and say such and such traits made 
them great, we are obliged to admit that others endowed 
apparently with these same traits have utterly failed. 

No philosopher has ever undertaken to name the elements 
and give their true proportion in the human compound 
which the world calls greatness. 

It is possible for a man to be great without honesty, like 
Marlborough; brave without patriotism, like Benedict Ar- 
nold; great without morality, like Rousseau, or great like 
Voltaire, to whom Frederick the Great wrote: "If your 
works deserve statues, your conduct deserves handcuffs." 

Then, too, greatness is a relative term, and it is hard 
to determine the point where it grades into mediocrity or 
the point where it shades into notoriety, which is a sort of 
bastard brother of greatness. 

To this class belong all those who possess that impalpa- 
ble qualitv — impossible to describe, teach, or counterfeit — 
the faculty of fooling the crowd, which amounts to genius 
in some cases and collects toll from the credulity of all ages. 

I lay no stress on money. I do not call a man great 
necessarilv because he has capitalized an industry, taken 
the right tips on stock, discovered a mine, cornered oil 
or steel, captured the standing timber of a nation, owns a 
town, or controls a railroad. 

The men who have done these things have their reward, 
and their reward, among other things, amounts to the 
monotony of the very best, a dull faculty of enjoyment, and 
eternal vigilance to protect what they have obtained. 

Address of Mr. Hamilton, of Michigan 99 

Solomon tried it all. He asked God for wisdom, and 
because he asked God for wisdom and not for wealth or 
honor we are told that wisdom, wealth, and honor were 
added unto him; and, having tried it all, in his old aye, 
from a throne of ivory in a palace of cedar, he pronounced 
it all vanity. 

We are like travelers on a journey. The world has been 
explored but it is a new country to all of us, and we travel 
mostlv alone, although the caravan in which we journey is 
large. And we pick up the baubles which others have left 
along the way, make collections of them, capitalize them, 
issue shares on them, decorate ourselves with them, and go 
the way that those who left them went. 

One man has the money-getting faculty ; another has not. 
(hie man has the bump of aecpiisitiveness, and another has 
not ; and generally when there is a convex on one side of 
a man's head there is a concave on the other side to make 
up for it. 

Of course there are great men of wealth and men of great 
wealth, but the public comment makes little distinction, 
except that the five-talent man attracts more attention than 
the two-talent man and is therefore singled out for more 
frequent denunciation. 

We have no titles of nobility, but we have men who 
command markets to rise, and the}- rise ; to fall, and they 
fall; who could buy a moderate-sized kingdom without 
financial inconvenience, and we have constant illustrations 
of the involuntary deference that one million pays to two 

ioo Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

People are constantly rated according to their bank 
accounts, not only in Dun's and Bradstreet's, but socially. 

These distinctions are not abolished above-ground even 
in the cemetery, where the shadow of the monument of 
financial success falls across the pauper's anonymous grave 
in the potter's field just over the fence. 

( ".cneral Alger was a rich man, but his claims to dis- 
tinction are in no wise based upon his wealth, except that 
it enabled him to respond nobly to the charitable impulses 
within him, to respond nobly to his own constant desire to 
relieve want and to extend the hand of pity and alleviation 
to all those in distress. 

I read some days ago the story of a man who died and, 
being called before a Mighty Presence, was asked to state 
what things he had accomplished while on earth, and he 
humbly answered that he had accomplished nothing ; that 
his life had been a failure, and then there rose up a multi- 
tude of witnesses of good deeds done in secret, until this 
feeble, wayworn failure in the race of life was glorified. 

And so I think some things in General Alger's life, 
least known about, may constitute his most enduring claim 
to glory. 

He was a man of exalted patriotism. He risked his life 
time and again for love of country. 

Perhaps humanity may sometimes meet upen some higher 
level than patriotism, but at present there is no nobler trait 
in human nature than love of a man's country. 

He was an honest man, and the reputation of an honest 
public official is part of the moral capital of our whole 

Address of Mr. Hamilton, of Michigan 101 

He was a modest man. He never stood around on promi- 
nent corners for the purpose of being pointed at as a 


He was a sincere man. Sincerity is a trait that in the 
long run can not be counterfeited. It is like a flame— no 
one can paint it. 

A man's name comes to stand for what he is, and the 
name of Gen. RUSSELL A. ALGER stands for the life of a 
brave, generous, honest gentleman, who loved his country 
and served it to the best of his ability. 

io2 Manor ia/ Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

Address of Mr. Darragh, of Michigan 

Mr. Speaker: My acquaintance with (yen. RussELL A. 
ALGER had its beginning soon after the close of the civil 
war. He was at that time, as he ever after continued to 
be, the idol of the veteran soldierv of Michigan. 

He was then serving as commander of the Department of 
Michigan, Grand Army of the Republic, to which office 
his comrades had elected him in recognition of his valor as 
a soldier and of his worth as a citizen. He was the first 
man ever chosen to fill that office. 

Our acquaintance later ripened into a warm personal 
attachment which remained unbroken to the end. 

The recollection of the kindly interest which Senator 
AlgER ever made manifest in matters which concerned me 
and the helpfulness of his counsel impel me to pay humble 
tribute to the memory of him whom I esteemed as a friend 
and admired as a man. 

To the people of the State of Michigan, whose love and 
high esteem for Senator Alger had been so frequently 
demonstrated, the announcement of his death came with 
all the force of a personal bereavement. His never-failing 
kindness, his faith in his fellow-man, his gracious hospi- 
tality, his munificent and yet unostentatious charity, his 
sublime courage and patience and dignity when unjustly 
assailed, his correct life, and his honorable and distinguished 
career as a soldier and as a citizen all endeared him to the 

Address of Mr. Darragh, of Michigan 103 

hearts of the people of his State, who knew him best and 
loved him most. 

RUSSELL A. Alger at the age of 11 years faced the 
world as a poor and obsenre orphan boy. With something 
of that courage and confidence which was a dominant trait 
in his character he confronted the situation. He earned 
his daily bread and acquired an education. He studied 
law and was admitted to practice. 

At the outbreak of the civil war he raised a company of 
volunteers and was mustered into the service of the United 
States as captain of Company C, Second Michigan Volun- 
teer Cavalry, of which regiment Philip H. Sheridan was 
soon thereafter placed in command as its colonel. 

Captain Algkk was, by promotion, made major April 2, 
I862. He was wounded and taken prisoner in action at 
Booneville, Miss., July 1, 1862; was appointed lieutenant- 
colonel Sixth Michigan Cavalry October 30, 1862, and 
colonel Fifth Michigan Cavalry June 11, 1863. 

He was again severely wounded in action July 8, 1863. 
He served with distinction under Sheridan, Kilpatrick, and 
Custer, and participated in more than three-score battles 
and minor engagements. 

" For gallant and meritorious services during the war" 
he was commissioned brevet brigadier-general and was 
mustered out of the service as brevet major-general, United 
States Volunteers, at the age of 29. Such is the brief 
history of his brilliant and honorable military career. 

When hostilities had ceased and his country no longer 
needed his services in the field, he returned his sword to its 
scabbard and devoted himself to business affairs with the 

104 Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

same energy, the same intelligent forcefulness, the same 
courage that characterized his military service, and abun- 
dant success crowned his efforts. 

Senator Au'.kr's life was one of achievement. The 
influence of such a life as his, let us hope, will live on as an 
inspiration to the young' man of to-day and to the young 
man of the future. 

The greatest of English poets has said: 

The evil that men do lives after them: 
The good is oft interred with their hones. 

To this sentiment I do not fully subscribe. Rather let it 
be said that the good, equally with the evil, that men do 
will live after them and bear fruit each of its kind. 

From early life Senator Alger was deeply interested in 
public affairs. He did not seek political preferment until 
lie was chosen bv his partv as its candidate for governor 
of his State in 1884. To this office he was elected, but 
declined a renomination two years later. 

At the Republican national convention in 1888 Governor 
Alger was the candidate of his State for the office of Presi- 
dent, and was one of the three leading candidates for that 
high office. 

From the date of the organization of the military orders of 
the Loyal Legion and the Grand Arm}- of the Republic, Gen- 
eral Alger took a lively interest and a prominent part in the 
affairs of these societies. He was elected commander in 
chief of the Grand Arm}- of the Republic in the year 1889. 

In 1897 President McKinley appointed General Alger to 
a place in his Cabinet as Secretary of War. In the dis- 
charge of the duties of this office, made difficult and trving 

Address of Mr. Darragk, of Michigan 105 

by reason of the war with Spain, and because of our almost 
complete unpreparedness for war, General Alger labored 
diligently, and with a measure of success which few men 
could have equaled under like conditions. 

The following high tribute was paid to the character and 
services of General ALGER by his successor, Mr. Secretary 
of War Taft, in the formal announcement of General 
ALGER'S death made to the Army: 

The Secretary of War announces with deep sorrow the death of the 
Hon. Russei.i. Alexander Alger, which occurred on the 24th instant, 
at his residence in this city. 

General Alger was Secretary of War during the Administration of 
President McKinley, from March 5, 1S97, to August 1, 1899; a period 
during which the administration of the War Department was brought into 
great prominence through its activities in connection with the war with 
Spain and the military operations in the Philippines that succeeded it. 

General Alger was patriotic, earnest, and most devoted to the interests 
of the Army, and especially considerate of the welfare of enlisted men. 
He was a gentle, kindly man, with great confidence in his friends and 
associates, and was much beloved by his subordinates. He was the sub- 
ject of unjust criticism because of the country's lack of preparedness for 
war when war came, although for this he was in no wise responsible. 
His record as a soldier in the civil war was long, useful, and highly 

General Alger became United States Senator by ap- 
pointment of the governor of Michigan on September 27, 
1902, to succeed the late Senator James McMillan, and was 
elected to that office on January 20, 1903. 

Owing to failing health, he declined to be a candidate 
for reelection. His term of office as Senator would have 
expired on March 4 next. 

His last prayer was answered: 

I want to die in the harness. I want to give my family and friends just 
as little trouble as possible when the time comes. I would prefer to live, 
but I am ready to go. 

106 Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

"Like one that wraps the drapery of his couch ahout 
him and lies down to pleasant dreams," Senator Alger 
passed into the great unknown. 

Upon no citizen of Michigan has a grateful people 
bestowed so many and such high honors as were cheerfully 
accorded to Senator Alger, if we except only Gen. Lewis 
Cass. RUSSELL A. Alger died full of years and full of 
honors. His deeds will be his most enduring monument. 

We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths; 
In feelings, nut in figures on a dial. 

We should count time by heart-throbs. He most lives 
Who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best. 

Address of Mr. Tozvnsend, of Michigan 

Address of Mr. Townsend, of Michigan 

Mr. SPEAKER: To me it is a rather solemn and unpleas- 
ant duty to speak on memorial occasions, and were it not 
for the fact that he whose memory we honor here to-day was 
a resident of Michigan I should adhere to my hitherto 
unbroken rule of contemplating in silence the memory of 
my departed friends. I can see much that is proper and 
much that is beautiful in setting apart a day of the Congress 
to eulogize deceased Members. I am only sorry that we live 
in such an age of business and of practical things that when 
a man dies we have scarcely time to attend his funeral, much 
less to memorialize him. It is undoubtedly an evidence 
of man's divinity that in the presence of death resentments 
are softened and only good thoughts are in control. 

Sometimes things are said on such occasions as this 
which ought to have been said before death had stopped the 
ears to words of censure or praise. It is probably true that 
he who has passed to the (Treat Beyond will not be affected 
by what we may say here to-day, but we possibly — the few 
of us who are here — will be made better for having contem- 
plated the man who has departed from among us. How 
much better it would be if we could only find time to say 
the things that the man would like to hear before he has 
gone out from among us. 

Ri'SSELL A. ALGER since 1859, and until his death in 
this citv, was a resident of Michigan. He contributed 

io8 Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

largely to the development of our State, and for many years 
was one of our foremost citizens. At his death lie was con- 
sidered a wealthy man, but his wealth was due to his own 
energy and ability ; and he will not be known hereafter 
because of his wealth, but rather because of his life as a 
public citizen. 

His was a strenuous life, ana much of it was passed dur- 
ing crucial periods of our country's history. When the 
rebellion broke out he enlisted and was mustered in as cap- 
tain of Company C, Second Michigan Cavalry, and at the 
end of seven months he was promoted to the position of 
major of his regiment. In six months more he became lieu- 
tenant-colonel of the Sixth Michigan Cavalry, and after seven 
months more he was again advanced to the position of 
colonel of the Fifth Michigan Cavalry; and on June n, 
[864, for meritorious services in battles, he was brevetted 
brigadier-general, and one year later was made brevet major- 
general of United States volunteers. 


Few soldiers of the great civil war have advanced more 
rapidly ; but promotion came not as the result of achieve- 
ments on parade, but rather because of things done in action. 
He was engaged, as has been stated here, in sixty-six battles 
and skirmishes, and so strong was his faith, so dauntless his 
courage, that defeat was never contemplated by him. I 
have thought that the " plunger" in business life makes the 
most brilliant soldier ; he has a vision of something desirable, 
and no intervening obstacle retards him. General Alger 
in business more than once had his all staked on practically 
a single venture. He only saw success. He did not see, or, 
at least, was not deterred by, the difficulties in his path. 

Address of Mr. Tomnsend, of Michigan 109 

He knew that lumber was a staple, and into it he plunged 
with all the vigor of his strong nature. Several times it 
seemed that he had gone in too deeply, but lumber rose to 
meet his necessities and success was his. In war it was the 
same. He believed in the ultimate triumph of the Union, 
and recognized nothing insuperable in its pathway. In 
1884 lie was elected governor of Michigan, and in 1888 was 
a formidable candidate for President at the Republican 
national convention at Chicago. One of the sad yet glo- 
rious memories of Michigan's citizens is General Alger's 
connection with the War Department. Sad, because cir- 
cumstances placed upon his brow a crown of thorns, which 
malice and ignorance pressed down hard ; glorious, because 
he lived long enough to see himself vindicated and to have 
the crown of thorns supplanted by a wreath of immortelles. 
Michigan never lost faith in her distinguished son, and on 
the death of Senator McMillan the vacancy was filled with 
General Alger. 

He died in the harness. His was a nature which could 
not endure idleness, and his wish to serve to the last was 
gratified. Only when the war was over and the Union pre- 
served did he lay down his sword. Only when the Great 
Commander ordered him to "fall out" did the beloved Sen- 
ator Alger quit the distinguished service he had rendered 
his State and nation. 

It seems most fitting that his eyes should close here in 
the nation's capital. In 1865, at the age of 29 years, he, as 
major-general, beheld the glorious concluding spectacle of 
the civil war. Here at the beginning of the Spanish war 
he was the Secretary of War. Here, as Senator since 1902, 

i io Memorial Addresses: Russell A. Alger 

he assisted in shaping the destiny of the nation he fought 
to preserve. From here loving hands tenderly hore his 
earthly tenement to its last resting place in Michigan, 
where there was but one heart, and that heart was sad. 
His bereaved family will miss him most, for he was preemi- 
nently a devoted husband and a loving father. 

But thousands of newsboys, who through his bounty and 
encouragement were inspired with ambition to do and to be, 
will mourn his death, and the citizens of Detroit and all 
Michigan will appreciate that one of their most respected 
and influential men has gone out from among them. 

Death is always a solemn thing; whether it comes in the 
morning, at noon, or at night, it is unwelcome ; but of very 
tew men could it lie said that their work was more nearly 
finished, their lives more completely rounded out, their duty 
more fully performed than of Senator ALGEK when he 
"wrapped the drapery of his couch about him and lay down 
to pleasant dreams." 

For a year or more he stood in his open grave and 
waited for the walls . to fall upon him ; but he was 
unafraid and asked no sympathy. He had met death 
before. He had become familiar with all the sensations 
which come to a man under those circumstances and was 
unterrified. A few days before he died I sat beside him in 
the dining room of this House, and he discussed his coming 
dissolution hopefully and cheerfully, and when I reminded 
him that all Michigan was his friend he said : " I believe 
that is true, and I would rather have that to console me 
than to know that I could have my days prolonged. " His 
face lighted up, and his eyes shone with an expression of 

Address of Mr. Townsend, of Michigan in 

perfect faith and confidence. He was apparently ready to 
go, and well could he have repeated the words of the ven- 
erable poet, uttered under similar circumstances : 

I know not where His islands lift 

Their fronded palms in air ; 
I only know I can not drift 

Beyond His love and care. 
And so, beside the silent sea, 

I wait the muffled oar ; 
No harm can come from Him to me 

On ocean or on shore. 

His life work was well done and, the allotted span of life 
having been passed, he went to sleep amidst the flowers of 
love and esteem and awakened at the Master's commenda- 
tion — " Well done thou good and faithful servant, enter 
thou into the joy of thy Lord." 

, rift