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force-the reign of bullets; or should we find men claiming to be “thorough peace men ” covered with dovelike wings stretching out their vulture claws, and opening their savage bills to glut their voracious appetites, in order to run riot in such a carnival of death as our American war? Is such the way and are such the means to promote the “liberties of the world or mankind ?” Is there no Elihu to be found amidst the slumbering churches or tribes of men, to point to the grand march of the seasons, and of events, and send forth an electric appeal to the judgments and hearts of men, in rebuke of such monstrosities demanding that “days should speak, and multitudes of years teach men wisdom ?”.
Once for all, allow me to say that I never fight with men who in anonymous communications put themselves in the same category with footpads and assassins. Yours for truth as well as liberty,
JOSHUA RHODES BALME,
An American Clergyman.
92 Hughes Street, West Derby-road,
May 12, 1864.
FREED MEN'S AID COMMISSION.
To the Editor of the Daily Gazette.
SIR—On reading the account given of the meeting held at Mrs. Joseph Sturge's, in your columns of the 1st inst., under the designation of “Aid for Escaped Slaves,” I was deeply impressed with the immense deficiencies of Mr. Levi Coffin, in the statement of his case, as the agent or representative of the Western Freedmen's Aid Commission, as well as the introductions referred to by the chairman, Mr. Edward Gem, and this is all the more remarkable as Mr. Coffin was introduced to Mrs. Sturge's guests as “a gentleman who had been during the whole of his life interested in the great question of the emancipation of slaves." Surely an old veteran in the cause of freedom ought to have been able to have produced some names long and favourably known in the cause of freedom in America; but be this as it may, Secretary Chase's and Judge Storer's names are very unfortunate, both for himself and the object of his mission, since both have always been borne onwards and downwards on the “driftwood” of rotten policies and expediences towards the dead sea of putrefaction.
But let us come to Mr. Coffin's mission. He appears as the agent or representative of the Western Freedmen's Aid Commission. But from his statement what information do we glean of the character of the men who control its Board of Management ? or of the relationships which it sustains to the Government or churches of America ?
On these points Mr. Coffin is silent. The one harp of a thousand strings which absorbs his attention, and concentrates his energies, is that of aid to escaped slaves ; neither does he say whether the society which he represents is confined exclusively in its operations or restricted in its benevolence to them. President Lincoln, however, comes to our aid and gives us the requisite information. In a speech which he made in Philadelphia, at the Sanitary Fair, on the 16th of last month, recorded in the London Daily Telegraph of the 1st inst., there occurs the following remarkable paragraph :—When speaking of the war the President says, “It has had accompaniments not before known in the history of the world.” What accompaniments? Deluges of blood !
Avalanches of debt! Heaps of blackened ruin! Widows' wails and orphans' moans ! Spies, informers, conscripts, and dungeons ! Deceit, cunning, infamy, and fraud! Yes, we have had all these on a scale never before known to such an extent in so short a space of time in the history of the world! Aye, and we have had more accompaniments or auxiliaries to our Northern armies. As President Lincoln does not mean the above, what then does
he mean? Hear him. “I mean,” says the President
-“I mean the Sanitary and Christian Commissions !"
Sanitary and Christian Commissions accompaniments or auxiliaries to the Federal armies ! And one of these Christian Commissions the one represented by Mr. Levi Coffin! Is it not enough to make the bones of Joseph Sturge rattle in his grave, and spring to life to rebuke the withering imposture if it was necessary ? According to Mr. Coffin, Federal agents take all the able-bodied negroes out of the camps when they come into the Federal lines, and leave the women and children, the aged, decrepit, and infirm, to the accompaniments or auxiliaries to be cared for! Well and wisely planned to make the Federal armies more powerful for carnage and slaughter; and well and wisely planned to make the pleas put forth “as irresistible as they are pathetic” by the agents and advocates of the Federals in England, to raise their piles of money by reminding the public—“Inasmuch as ye do it unto these ye do it unto me.” And all in the name of freedom! How wide the phylacteries of their garments! But what claim have these Federal advocates and agents on the benevolence of mankind to relieve these helpless objects of misery? Being accompaniments or auxiliaries to the Federal armies, is it not plainly and evidently the legitimate duty of the Federal Government to provide for them when they take from them their natural helpers—the ablebodied fathers, brothers, and friends to whom the young and aged of necessity look for help, as in the
case of white men. If Mr. Sturge's ghost could have appeared in the corridors of his late mansion when the above meeting was held, bearing the inscription, “Sanitary and Western Freeman's Aid Commission, accompaniments or auxiliaries to men of violence and blood, and represented by a member of the Society of Friends," what consternation there would have been! How their knees would have smote together in their paroxysms of fear! And how they would have shrunk from his presence abashed, ashamed, and confounded! But is there no mistake in regard to these accompaniments or auxiliaries? Hear what the President
says, “Their labours are for the relief of the soldiers, and the Volunteer refreshment saloonsunderstood better by those who hear me than by himself.”
The relief of soldiers—we can understand that, but the relief of volunteer refreshment saloons is a tremendous smooth down, and gloss over of the President's natural anti-slavery feelings when officially he has to use a catch-word to throw the fugitive slaves into the shade, as a bait in the base trap of cunning by which to reach the easy consciences and votes of weak-minded men and silly fools at the forthcoming election. In concluding this letter, allow me to supply a test by which to prove the spirits as well as doctrines of men, who claim your sympathies, prayers, or pecuniary aid in the cause of freedom in America or on its behalf. It is a test that sends to shivers Beecher and Mrs. Stowe, the Revs. Charles H. Roe,