Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown. Page: 873 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
two thousand people. The occasion was the memorial
service in honor of Jefferson Davis.
It is Dr. Swearingen's wish to have the address
appended to his biography, not on account of any
special merit claimed for it, but to perpetuate, and,
if possible, to make imperishable some evidence of
his love and admiration for a pure, a good and
" MEMORIAL ADDRESS."
"MR. CHAIRMAN, LADIEs AND GENTLEMEN
unsuccessful leaders of great revolutions loom up
along the shores of time as do lighthouses upon
stormy coasts, all of them brilliant and shining afar
off like stars! But few of these men have left behind
them.substantial evidences of their greatness,
or monuments of their works. Their names are not
often wreathed in the'marble flowers that glisten
upon splendid mausoleums. Tradition tells no
story of loving hands having planted above them
the myrtle and the rose, and of manly eyes paying
to their memories the tribute of tears. History
can now write another chapter. Last Friday, when
the wires flashed the news to the uttermost borders
of civilization that the ex-President of the Confederate
States was dead, a wave of sorrow swept over
the fairest portion of the earth. The soldiers of the
dead Confederacy were bowed down in grief, and
men and women, from the Potomac to the Rio
Grande, talked in low, tremulous tones of their old
chief, and the glorious record he had made.
"This occasion will not permit even of a brief review
of his. illustrious life, nor an analysis of the
'why' he formed a new republic, nor the 'how'
that young republic, after a colossal struggle, went
down beneath the tread of a million men.
t Jefferson Davis was the ideal Southerner
highest type of American manhood.
"For four consecutive years he was the central
figure in the stormiest era in the world's history.
Around him gathered the hopes of a nation, and
upon his shoulders rested her destinies. At his
word legions sprang to arms, and his name was
shouted by dying lips upon every field of battle.
" Nearly a quarter of a century has passed since
the last shell exploded over the contending armies.
Green forests have grown up in the rifle pits and
in the trenches. An universal charity has thrown
a white mantle of forgiveness over the men who
fought beneath the stars and stripes, and over thal
gallant few who followed to the death the waning
fortunes of that ' bonnie blue flag' we loved so well.
" Through all these years the dark-robed reaper
has been busy at his work, striking with impartial
hand the fearless hearts that formed the lines, and
the lofty plumes that led the van.
"Lincoln, Grant, Sheridan, Thomas, Albert Sidney
Johnston, Lee, Jackson and Bragg have long
since passed to the other shore, and to-day the martial
form of Jefferson Davis, clothed in the uniform
of gray, is consigned to mother earth.
"Death never gathered to her cold embrace a
purer Christian; the cradle of childhood never
rocked to sleep a gentler heart; the fires of martyrdom
never blazed around a more heroic soul; the
Roman eagles, the lilies of France nor the Lion of
St. George never waved above a braver, truer soldier.
"On the field of Monterey, wounded and almost
dying, he bore through fire and smoke the victor's
wreath! In the counsels of State he wore the insignia
of a leader, and when his official light went
out forever, he won the glory of a martyr. Crushed
down by defeat, cast into the dungeons of Fortress
Monroe, unawed by manacles, unterrified by a felon's
death that seemed inevitable, this ideal Southerner,
this leader of the lost cause, was still true to
his people, and rose above the gloom of his surroundings,
tall, majestic and eternal as the pyramids
that look down upon Sahara. As bold Sir
Belvidere said of kingly Arthur, 'The like of him
will never more be seen on earth.'
"Farewell, my peerless, unconquered old chief.
" Your fame will go down the ages as the purest
and grandest of mortals; and I do pray that your
mighty spirit has found some beautiful spot on the
ever shining river, where no beat of drum nor clank
of chains shall mar the melody of golden harps
when swept by angel fingers; where no prison walls
can hide the light of the throne, and where the
smile of a loving God will fall around you forever."
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown., book, ; Austin, Tex.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/873/: accessed May 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .