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Title: Portrait and Biography of Parson Brownlow, The Tennessee Patriot

Author: William Gannaway Brownlow

Release date: January 30, 2011 [eBook #35122]
Most recently updated: January 7, 2021

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Carla Foust, Mark C. Orton and the Online
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Transcriber's note

Minor punctuation errors have been changed without notice. Printer errors have been changed, and they are indicated with a mouse-hover and listed at the end of this book. All other inconsistencies are as in the original.






Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1862,
In the Clerks Office of the District Court of the United States, for the
District of Indiana.


The biography of great men always has been, and always will be read with interest and profit. Great actions command admiration, and none of modern times excel those of the patriot exile, Parson Brownlow, of Tennessee.

In this work the spirit-stirring scenes of his late eventful life are vividly portrayed in his own characteristic and inimitable style. The descriptions of his trials and triumphs in the cause of the Union will send a thrill of admiration to every reader's heart; will strengthen the wavering loyalty of many a young man, and incite him to pursue with unquenchable ardor, the path which all true patriots have marked out, and whose beacon lights are justice, truth and right. To the truly loyal, whose steps "keep time to the music of the Union," the work will be its own recommendation, and we commend it to these, both of the North and South, with the confidence that it will meet with their cordial approbation.


Introduction 7
Biography of Parson Brownlow 9
Last Editorial of the Knoxville Whig, and Farewell Address to his patrons  
    as it appeared in its last issue 11
Nashville Speech 17
Cincinnati Speech before the Chamber of Commerce 22
Brownlow and the Cincinnati Methodist Preachers 39
Indianapolis Speech 48



William G. Brownlow was born in Wythe County, Virginia, August 5, 1805. His parents were poor, and died when he was about ten years old. They were both Virginians, and his father was a school-mate of General Houston, in Rockbridge County. After the death of his parents he lived with his mother's relations, and was raised to hard labor until he was some eighteen years old, when he served a regular apprenticeship to the trade of a house-carpenter.

His education was imperfect and irregular, even in those branches taught in the common schools of the country. He entered the Traveling Ministry, in 1826, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and traveled ten years without intermission, and was a member of the General Conference held in Philadelphia. He was untiring in his energy, and availed himself of the advantages of the Methodist Itinerancy to study and improve his education, which he did in all the English branches.

Mr. Brownlow is about six feet high, and weighs about 175 pounds; has had as fine a constitution as any man ever had. He has no gray hairs in his head, and will pass for a man of thirty-five years. He has had the strongest voice of any man in East Tennessee, where he has resided for the last thirty years, and raised an interesting family. He has been speaking all that time, taking a part in all the controversies of the day.

[10]He is the author of several books; but the one which has had the largest run is one of over four hundred pages, being a vindication of the Methodist Church against the attacks of Rev. J. R. Graves, in Nashville. Brownlow's work was published by the Southern Methodist Publishing House, and something like 100,000 copies have been circulated in the South and West. It is a work of great severity, but of marked ability.

In 1858 he was engaged in a debate upon the slavery question in Philadelphia, with the Rev. Mr. Prym, of New York, in which he defended the institution of slavery with marked ability, exhibiting a familiar acquaintance with the vexed question in all its bearings. The debate, a volume of some four hundred pages, is for sale by J. B. Lippincott & Co.

He is known throughout the length and breadth of this land as the "Fighting Parson;" but no man is more peaceable, or more highly esteemed by his neighbors. Few men are more charitable, and few, of his means—for he is not rich—give away as much in the course of a year.

He is quite a politician, though he has never been an office-seeker or an office-holder. He commenced his political career in Tennessee in 1828, by espousing the cause of John Quincy Adams as against Andrew Jackson. He has been all his life an ardent Whig, and Clay and Webster were his standards of political orthodoxy. His paper, the Knoxville Whig, which he has edited for twenty-two years, had the largest circulation of any political paper in Tennessee, and exerted a controlling influence in the politics of the State.



When Secession first raised its hydra-head our hero stood up manfully for the Union and the Constitution, and amid an almost overwhelming torrent of abuse heaped upon him by the Press throughout the State. Darker and darker grew the storm around him; fiercer and fiercer the denunciations hurled at him by the enemies of the Union; yet, with an iron will, and sustained by an inward consciousness that he was doing his duty, he continued to battle nobly for the cause of his country, and in each and every number of his paper poured down on the rebel crew his scathing sarcasm and scorching repartee.

At last the Confederate authorities determined on his arrest and punishment. In October, 1861, he was indicted by the Grand Jury, and his paper suppressed. We here give his farewell address, which will be read with mournful interest and high admiration. His words are those of a spirit not seeking martyrdom, but ready to confront it in all its terrors in the cause of truth and patriotism.

Prentice, of the Louisville Journal, in publishing this last editorial, made the following very truthful comment: "He may be consigned by trembling tyrants to a dungeon, but there will be more of God's sunshine in his soul than can ever visit the eye-balls of his own and his country's enemies. If a million prayers can avail, the naked stones of his cell will be a softer and sweeter bed than his traitor foes will enjoy:"


[From the Knoxville Whig, October 26.]

This issue of the Whig must necessarily be the last for some time to come—I am unable to say how long. The Confederate authorities have determined upon my arrest, and I am to be indicted before the Grand Jury of the Confederate Court, which commenced its session in Nashville on Monday last. I would have awaited the indictment and arrest before announcing the remarkable event to the world, but, as I only publish a weekly paper, my hurried removal to Nashville would deprive me of the privilege of saying to my subscribers what is alike due to myself and them. I have the fact of my indictment and consequent arrest, having been agreed upon for this week, from distinguished citizens, legislators, and lawyers at Nashville of both parties. Gentlemen of high positions and members of the Secession party say that the indictment will be made because of "some treasonable articles in late numbers of the Whig." I have reproduced those two "treasonable articles" on the first page of this issue, that the unbiased people of the country may "read, mark, learn and inwardly digest" the treason. They relate to the culpable remissness of these Knoxville leaders in failing to volunteer in the cause of the Confederacy.

According to the usages of the Court, as heretofore established, I presume I could go free by taking the oath these authorities are administering to other Union men, but my settled purpose is not to do any such thing. I can doubtless be allowed my personal liberty by entering into bonds to keep the peace, and to demean myself towards the leaders of secession in Knoxville, who have been seeking to[13] have me assassinated all Summer and Fall, as they desire me to do, for this is really the import of the thing, and one of the leading objects sought to be attained. Although I could give a bond for my good behavior, for one hundred thousand dollars, signed by fifty as good men as the country affords, I shall obstinately refuse to do even that; and, if such a bond is drawn up and signed by others, I will render it null and void by refusing to sign it. In default of both, I expect to go to jail, and I am ready to start upon one moment's warning. Not only so, but there I am prepared to lie, in solitary confinement, until I waste away because of imprisonment, or die from old age. Stimulated by a consciousness of innocent uprightness, I will submit to imprisonment for life, or die at the end of a rope, before I will make any humiliating concession to any power on earth!

I have committed no offence—I have not shouldered arms against the Confederate Government, or the State, or encouraged others to do so—I have discouraged rebellion publicly and privately—I have not assumed a hostile attitude toward the civil or military authorities of this new Government. But I have committed grave, and I really fear unpardonable offences. I have refused to make war upon the Government of the United States; I have refused to publish to the world false and exaggerated accounts of the several engagements had between the contending armies; I have refused to write out and publish false versions of the origin of this war, and of the breaking up of the best Government the world ever knew; and all this I will continue to do, if it cost me my life. Nay, when I agree to do such things, may a righteous God palsy my right arm, and may the earth open and close in upon me forever.[14]

The real object of my arrest, and contemplated imprisonment, is, to dry up, break down, silence, and destroy the last and only Union paper left in the eleven seceded States, and thereby to keep from the people of East Tennessee the facts which are daily transpiring in the country. After the Hon. Jeff. Davis had stated in Richmond, in a conversation relative to my paper, that he would not live in a Government that did not tolerate the freedom of the press; after the judges, attorneys, jurors, and all others filling positions of honor and trust under the "Permanent Constitution," which guarantees freedom of the press; and after the entire press of the South had come down in their thunder tones upon the Federal Government for suppressing the Louisville Courier, and the New York Day-Book, and other secession journals, I did expect the utmost liberty to be allowed to one small sheet, whose errors could be combatted by the entire Southern press! It is not enough that my paper has been denied a circulation through the ordinary channels of conveyance in the country, but it must be discontinued altogether, or its Editor must write and select only such articles as meet the approval of a pack of scoundrels in Knoxville, when their superiors in all qualities that adorn human nature are in the penitentiary of our State. And this is the boasted liberty of the press in the Southern Confederacy!

I shall in no degree feel humbled by being cast into prison, whenever it is the will and pleasure of the august Government to put me there; but, on the contrary, I shall feel proud of my confinement. I shall go to jail as John Rogers went to the stake—for my principles. I shall go, because I have failed to recognize the hand of God in the[15] work of breaking up the American Government, and the inauguration of the most wicked, cruel, unnatural and uncalled for war, ever recorded in history. I go, because I have refused to laud to the skies the acts of tyranny, usurpation, and oppression, inflicted upon the people of East Tennessee, because of their devotion to the Constitution and laws of the Government, handed down to them by their fathers, and the liberties secured to them by a war of seven long years of gloom, poverty and trial! I repeat, I am proud of my position, and of my principles, and shall leave them to my children as a legacy, far more valuable than a princely fortune, had I the latter to bestow!

With me, life has lost some of its energy—having passed six annual posts on the Western slope of half a century—something of the fire of youth is exhausted—but I stand forth with the eloquence and energy of right to sustain and stimulate me in the maintenance of my principles. I am encouraged to firmness, when I look back to the fate of Him "whose power was righteousness," while the infuriated mob cried "crucify him, crucify him!"

I owe to my numerous list of subscribers the filling out of their respective terms for which they have made advance payments, and if circumstances ever place it in my power to discharge these obligations, I will do it most certainly. But if I am denied the liberty of doing so, they must regard their small losses as so many contributions to the cause in which I have fallen! I feel that I can, with confidence, rely upon the magnanimity and forbearance of my patrons, under this state of things. They will bear me witness that I have held out as long as I am allowed to, and that I have[16] yielded to a military despotism that I could not avert the horrors of, or successfully oppose.

I will only say, in conclusion—for I am not allowed the privilege to write—that the people of this country are unaccustomed to such wrongs; they can yet scarcely realize them. They are astounded, for the time being, with the quick succession of outrages that have come upon them, and they stand horror-stricken, like men expecting ruin and annihilation. I may not live to see the day, but thousands of my readers will, when the people of this once prosperous country will see that they are marching, by "double-quick time," from freedom to bondage. They will then look these wanton outrages upon right and liberty full in the face, and my prediction is they will "stir the stones of Rome to rise and mutiny." Wrongs less wanton and outrageous precipitated the French Revolution. Citizens cast into dungeons without charges of crime against them, and without the formalities of a trial by a jury, private property confiscated at the beck of those in power, the press humbled, muzzled, and suppressed, or prostituted to serve the ends of tyranny! The crimes of Louis XVI fell short of all this, and yet he lost his head! The people of this country, down-trodden and oppressed, still have the resolution of their illustrious forefathers, who asserted their rights at Lexington and Bunker Hill!

Exchanging, with proud satisfaction, the editorial chair and the sweet endearments of home for a cell in the prison, or the lot of an exile, I have the honor to be, &c.,

Editor of the Knoxville Whig.

October 24, 1861.



Soon after the Parson was compelled by his enemies to suspend the publication of the Whig, he was prevailed upon by his friends, who more than himself feared for his personal safety, to act upon an intimation of the readiness of the rebel authorities to grant him a safe conduct to the North, and, as stated below, communicated with the Secretary of War at Richmond, Va. The result was that in November last an order was sent to the military commander at Knoxville to take him to the nearest Federal lines. After completing his preparation to go North, notwithstanding his agreement with Secretary Benjamin, he was arrested and thrown into prison a second time.

The imprisonment soon told severely upon the health of the Parson, and after a month he was stricken down with typhoid fever. Permission being granted by the rebel prosecuting attorney, he was removed to his private residence. Here he was laid up for nearly eight weeks. Notwithstanding his prostration by sickness, the rebel surveillance over him did not stop. His house was surrounded day and night by guards. His friends were never allowed to visit him, and the members of his family were not permitted to leave the premises except under guard. Nor was this all. Open insults and threats were offered by the rebel soldiery whenever opportunity afforded. At one time a company of cavalry that had been in the battle of Fishing[18] Creek, and never stopped running until they got to Knoxville, and passing the house when the Parson's wife was looking out of the window, one of the troopers rode up to her, and insultingly asked, "Are you not ashamed to be the wife of that damned traitor and Lincolnite?" Whereupon the ready-witted woman at once replied: "I am glad that I am not the wife of a miserable coward that ran away from a battle-field."

Feeling strong enough to travel, the Parson again wrote to Benjamin, complaining of the bad faith with which he had been treated, and reminding the Secretary of War of the promise of a safe conduct to the Federal lines. A week elapsed, when the post commander at Knoxville received a dispatch directing the Parson to be released from confinement, and to be taken to the nearest Federal outposts over the route most convenient to him, and under an escort of his own choice. In pursuance to this order the Parson left Knoxville accompanied by his doctor, and escorted by Lieutenant O'Brien, an officer in the army, and relative of his wife. The party proceeded by rail, via Chattanooga, to Shelbyville, in Bedford county, in the Southern part of this State. Here they were detained ten days by Morgan's Cavalry, who were engaged in removing a large quantity of bacon and beef stored in the town, and had orders from General Hardee not to allow any one to pass their lines until the whole of the meat had been got away. At last the party were permitted to proceed overland, under a flag of truce, to the pickets of General Wood's division. General Wood at once sent them, under escort, to the city. Parson Brownlow proceeded immediately to the headquarters of General Buell, with whom[19] he had a long interview; afterward repaired to the St. Cloud Hotel, in Nashville, and in the front of the same, on the evening of March 17th, he made the following remarks:


Gentlemen:—I am in a sad plight to say much of interest—too thoroughly incapacitated to do justice to you or myself. My throat has been disordered for the past three years, and I have been compelled to almost abandon public speaking. Last December I was thrust into an uncomfortable and disagreeable jail—for what? Treason? Treason to the bogus Confederacy; and the proofs of that treason were articles which appeared in the Knoxville Whig in May last, when the State of Tennessee was a member of the imperishable Union. At the expiration of four weeks, I became a victim to the typhoid fever, and was removed to a room in a decent dwelling, and a guard of seven men kept me company. I subsequently became so weak that I could not turn over in bed, and the guard was increased to twelve men, for fear I should suddenly recover and run away to Kentucky. Becoming convalescent, in a measure, I was removed to my former place of confinement. One day I was visited by some Confederate officers, who remarked, "Brownlow, you should not be here. Take the oath of allegiance to the Confederate Government, which will not only entitle you to a speedy release, but insure your protection." "Sir!" said I, "before I would take the oath to support such a hell-forsaken institution, I would suffer myself to rot or die with old age."

Why, my friends, these demagogues actually boast that[20] the Lord is upon their side, and declare that God Almighty is assisting them in the furtherance of their nefarious project. In Knoxville and surrounding localities, a short time since, daily prayer meetings were held, wherein the Almighty was beseeched to raise Lincoln's blockade, and to hurl destruction against the Burnside expedition. Their prayers were partly answered—the blockade at Roanoke Island was most effectually raised; a reciprocal of their sacrilege divinely tendered.

Gentlemen, I am no Abolitionist; I applaud no sectional doctrines; I am a Southern man; and all my relatives and interests are thoroughly identified with the South and Southern institutions. I was born in the Old Dominion, my parents were born in Virginia, and they and their antecedents were all slaveholders. Let me assure you that the South has suffered no infringement upon her institutions; the slavery question was actually no pretext for this unholy, unrighteous conflict. Twelve Senators from the Cotton States, who had sworn to preserve inviolate the Constitution framed by our forefathers, plotted treason at night—a fit time for such a crime—and telegraphed to their States despatches advising them to pass ordinances of secession. Yes, gentlemen, twelve Senators swore allegiance in the day time, and unswore it at night.

A short time since I was called upon by a little Jew, who, I believe, is the Secretary of War of the bogus Confederacy. He threatened to hang me, and I expected no more mercy from him than was shown by his illustrious predecessors toward Jesus Christ. I entered into a long correspondence with this specimen of expiring humanity, but from mercy or forgetfulness, on their part, I was per[21]mitted to depart with all my documents in my little valise, which I hope to publish at no distant day.

Gentlemen, when I started on my perilous journey, I was sore distressed in mind, and exceedingly so in body. But the moment my eyes encountered the pickets of the Federal army my depression decreased, and returning health seemed suddenly to invigorate my physical constitution.

Gentlemen, Secession is played out—the dog is dead—the child is born, and his name is Jeff. Davis, jr.

My throat distresses me to such an extent that I must decline further remarks this evening, but shall make myself heard upon the next convenient occasion, which will probably be ere the termination of the present week.



Remaining here a few days to recuperate his almost worn-out energies, and receiving many invitations from different cities to lay before the sympathizing public the story of his wrongs, he determined to make a tour through several Northern States. Accordingly on the fourth day of April he was welcomed to the city of Cincinnati, Ohio, in a manner which was worthy of his unswerving patriotism and illustrious fidelity. It was very much doubted whether the Opera House, since it was first opened to the public, ever contained a larger or more refined assemblage than on that evening.

Before the doors were opened, the crowd had commenced to gather on Fourth street, and before half-past seven o'clock, not a vacant seat was to be found in the house, and the aisles and every available spot occupied. Many were unable to obtain even standing room, and left the house. The turnout, considering that the admission fee was fifty cents, must have been very gratifying to the Parson.

The stage was decorated with a number of American flags, and across the front part of it were two rows of chairs, on which were seated the Vice Presidents. Immediately in the rear was a raised platform, on which were seated three hundred and seventy-two boys and girls from the district, intermediate and high schools of the city, who, under the direction of Mr. L. W. Mason, sang the following:



All hail! all hail! the here unflinching!
The pure patriot we sing, unwavering and bold,
Who foul treason denounced, and with deeds was still clinching
His strong speech, when vile traitors in numbers untold
Howled hatred demoniac, and madly were clamoring,
His life should be forfeit! triumphantly sing,
And utter the welcome with the tongue's feeble stammering,
The welcome, the warm welcome, our hearts to him bring!
Safe! safe in our midst, we shall hear the man's voice,
That had cowed all his foes, and made us rejoice;
Then hail him again, and forever and aye!
His country he loves, and for it he would die!
Rejoice! rejoice! for freedom is marching
With her power resistless, to punish and crush;
And the Iris of Union will soon be o'erarching
Again our loved country, when its brave children rush
To rescue its life from the demons now seeking
To blot out its name from the nations of earth.
But rather than this, let their black blood be reeking,
Unpitied by earth, so disgraced by their birth.
Thus speaks he, the hero! Then sing with one voice:
We love and revere him, in his presence rejoice!
Then hail him again, and forever and aye!
His country he loves, and for it he would die!

Shortly after eight o'clock Parson Brownlow came upon the stage, leaning upon the arm of Joseph C. Butler, Esq., the President of the Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Butler, in introducing Mr. Brownlow, said:

Ladies and Gentlemen:—I have been honored with the pleasing duty of inaugurating the ceremonies of this occasion, in introducing a renowned and loyal citizen of our sister State of Tennessee. A State forced by usurpation, fraud and violence into rebellion against a Government that her sons in bygone times have done so much to maintain and establish, and now suffers in being the field of conflict in a desolating civil war. A State recently baptized again[24] into the fold of the Union by the martyr patriots' blood shed upon her soil, and will be confirmed in that fold by continued deeds of heroic daring; within whose limits has been exhibited by her loyal sons as unfaltering devotion and love of country as has ever been displayed in the history of any people. Surrounded by the armed band of desperate and cruel military despots, given up to the mercy of ignorant and vicious mobs, cut off from all communication with and support from a Government they were sacrificing themselves to maintain, these patriots of Tennessee were driven from their homes, suffered in jails, and sealed, when called on, with their lives on the scaffold their devotion to the Union and Constitution established by their fathers. Through a long and weary summer, through the dreary fall and winter, with hearts sickened by many disappointed hopes, they suffered and faithfully endured. And now that the armies of the Union have entered their State, and the flag of freedom once more floats over its capital, may we not hope that the hour of their deliverance is at hand. God grant it may be speedy.

One of this noble band of patriots is with us to-night. He will recount to you some of the scenes he has witnessed, and give you in brief the history of the rebellion in his once prosperous and noble State. He has sacrificed on the altar of his country all that man holds most dear, jeopardizing not only his own life, but the lives of his family and kindred in vindicating the sacred cause of his country. If we honor the bravery displayed on the battle-field, how much more should we honor him, who almost alone, sick and in prison, tempted by seducing offers of power and place, and with an ignominious death daily threatened, maintains for[25] weeks and months with unfaltering trust, his faith and virtue. The instinctive homage of the human heart to genuine courage we pay to an endurance like this. The historian who will record for the perusal of our children the list of heroes that this wicked rebellion has brought forth, will name none whose matchless courage is surpassed, or the bold outline of whose character for outspoken patriotism, so overshadows all cavil and criticism, as the hero of the pulpit and the press. I have now the honor of introducing Mr. W. G. Brownlow, of Knoxville, Tennessee.


Ladies and Gentlemen:—I appear before you in accordance with the arrangement of a committee—a large committee—of intelligent and influential citizens of your own town. I am not before you for the purpose of making an effort as an orator, or a speaker, with any view or wish to fascinate or to charm my audience with the style or the language I employ in the brief address I am about to deliver.

I am before you for the purpose of relating facts and localities, and giving you names in regard to the rebellion in the South, and the persecutions of my fellow countrymen, and their sufferings even unto death. I have met, since I came to this city, with not a few intelligent and high-toned gentlemen—men of years and of knowledge—who have inquired of me seriously: "Is it a fact that they hanged men, shot down men, in your country, for their sentiments?" You cannot, it seems to me, realize the state of things that has existed beyond the mountains.[26]

In what I shall say to you, without effort at all at display, I shall deal in nothing but facts. I will state nothing that I do not personally know to be true—nothing that I cannot sustain, if a controversy is raised in reference thereto.

I have seen the day when I was a young man, ladies (I speak of my age with a great deal of freedom, for I have a wife who is likely never to die)—[laughter]—I have seen the day when I could be heard by an audience of any size—when I have been able for four or five dreadful hours on a stretch to speak in the open air. Those days with me have gone by, and are numbered with the days and years beyond the flood. For some three years back I have labored under a disease of the throat—a bronchial affection—a severe affliction it was. Until the last twelve months I could but whisper. In the providence of God, and through his agency, I am better now. In repeated denunciation of secession my voice has been gaining all the time [applause,] and I shall not be astonished if in six months "Richard is himself again." [Applause.]

You will bear with me, I know, for I shall not detain you long. I shall by no means be tedious, but you will bear with me, I am certain, if I make a few remarks, by way of "preliminary," personal to myself. The circumstances surrounding me, the connection that my name has had for the last twelve months with the rebellion and with this subject, will justify me in so doing, without the dread of incurring the charge of egotism.

I am a native of the Old Dominion—born, raised and educated in the State of Virginia. I have the pleasure of announcing to you this evening that you have before you the[27] first man who ever made the acknowledgment in public, that he was the descendant of one of the second families of Virginia. [Laughter.]

My parents before me, on both sides, were Virginians. On both sides of the house they were slaveholders, as most of the citizens of the Old Dominion are and have been. Although I am branded at home, since the inauguration of rebellion, with being myself an anti-slavery man, and a tory and the descendant of tories, I take great pleasure and pride in announcing to you that my father was a volunteer in the war of 1812, under Old Hickory. My uncle William, after whom I was named, lived and died a naval officer, and his remains sleep in the Navy Yard at Norfolk, Virginia. My uncle Alexander was also a naval officer, and his remains rest in the Navy Yard at New Orleans. My uncle John was also a navy officer. He died at sea and was thrown overboard, and became food for the fishes thereof. My uncle John was the third man who scaled the walls at the battle of the Horseshoe. [Applause.] On my mother's side—the Galloways—not a few lost their lives at Norfolk, from yellow fever, camp diseases and fatigue. They did not fight for a section of the country—not for the yellow fever swamps of the South—but for every State, and every particle of this glorious Union of ours. [Applause.]

I may as well make a remark or two on the subject of politics. I am not here for the purpose of reviving any old party prejudice—not at all—nor yet with a view to drop a solitary remark that shall offend even the most fastidious political partisan who may be under the sound of my voice. In Tennessee, thank God, we have merged all political party[28] questions into the one great question of the Union and its preservation. [Applause.]

In all time to come—though I have been a Whig of the strictest sort—though I have lived up to the creed and fought Democracy in all its ramifications, and in all its windings—I would, in the language of Milton, see a man where cold performs the effect of fire—or, in the still more nervous language of Pollock, I would see a man where gravitation, shifting, turns the other way—even hell-ward—before I would vote for any man who was not an unconditional, straight-out Union man. [Great applause.]

I have fought Andrew Johnson, of Tennessee, systematically, perseveringly and untiringly, for the last twenty-five years of my somewhat eventful life. He has scored me on every stump in the State of Tennessee, and I have paid him back to the best of my ability. But honors with us are easy. [Laughter.] We take each other by the hand now, as brethren. [Applause.] Now I will fight for him, and under him—engaged as we are in the same cause, against the same vile foe to God and man, and especially to our country. [Applause.]

I have always been a Union man. I commenced my political career in Tennessee in 1828. I remark again, ladies, that although I may have the appearance of being—I confess the fact with more candor from the consideration that I never expect to be—a widower [laughter], I commenced my political career in Tennessee in 1828. I was one of the corporal's guard who, in that State, got up the electoral ticket for John Quincy Adams against Andrew Jackson. I name this fact simply to show you that I was not a sectional man in '28; that I did not go for a man because he[29] was born and lived south of Mason and Dixon's line, nor against him because he resided north of Mason and Dixon's line. Having mentioned the name of Old Hickory, I take pleasure in saying that, while I opposed him in his political aspirations, Jackson was always a patriot and a true lover of his country. If my prayers and tears could have brought him from his grave, during the last twelve months of the iniquitous reign of James Buchanan, I would have brought him out, that he might have destroyed secession as he did nullification—that might have sunk South Carolina in some sort of Lake not unlike the Dead Sea—where she will ultimately go. [Applause.]

In the next contest I was a supporter of Henry Clay. In the next contest I was a supporter of Ulasu White. In the next I supported William Henry Harrison, and I sung louder, jumped higher, and fell flatter and harder than anybody else in the whole State of Tennessee. I wrote upon log cabins, and waved coon-skins and water-gourds high and low. [Laughter.] In succeeding contests, gentlemen and ladies, I supported Taylor, Fillmore and Donelson. The last contest I was engaged in, was in the support of the Bell and Everett ticket. The tail of that ticket is now doing well enough in the State of Massachusetts. It stands erect, and carries itself majestically. But the latter end of the ticket will yet do to tie to, but as to the frontispiece—"pity the sorrows of a poor old man." [Laughter.]

One word before I progress further—upon the subject of slavery. What I have to say on that subject—all I have to say at home or abroad, I will say to you now, for, ladies and gentlemen, I have no sentiments in the South that I do not entertain when I am in the North. I have none in[30] Cincinnati that I do not entertain when I am at home in Knoxville. [Applause.] The South, as I told them months ago, when I was surrounded by three thousand Confederate troops—the South is more to blame for the state of things that now exist than the North is. But yet, I have to say, just in this connection, that if, about two years ago, I had been authorized to collect—if I had been let hunt them up, for I know the men I would have wanted—if I had been allowed to hunt up about one or two hundred anti-slavery agitators and fanatics at the North, scattered here and there, and about an equal number of our God-forsaken, hell-deserving, corrupt secessionists and disunionists, I should have marched the whole army of them into the District of Columbia, and dug a common ditch, erected a common gallows, after embalming their bodies with gipsy weed and dog-fennel. Had this been done, I should not have been here to-night—we would have had none of the troubles which afflict the country now.

One word more upon the subject of slavery. If the issue shall be made by the South—if they are mad enough, if they are fools enough to make the issue of Slavery and no Union, or Union and no Slavery—I am for the Union. [Applause.] I have told them so at home upon the stump in my own town. I will stand by the Union until you make the issue between the Federal Union and the Christian religion; then I will back out from the Union—but for no other institution. [Applause.]

The speaker here commenced the narrative of the doings of treason in East Tennessee. About twelve months ago, he said, a stream of secession fire, as hot as hell, commenced pouring out of the Southern States in the direction[31] of Leesburg, Richmond and Manassas, by way of Knoxville, Tennessee. Then it was that the rebel soldiery of the South, made drunk upon mean whisky, halted over night—day in and day out—in the town of Knoxville, and commenced their depredations, visiting the houses of Union men and stoning the inmates, blackguarding all whom they saw in them, male and female. His (Mr. Brownlow's) house, in Cumberland street, was more frequently visited by them than any other building in the town. At the same time he was reading, in the Mobile and South Carolina papers, that the best blood of the South had volunteered in the cause of "Southern rights." He said to his wife, "If this is the flower of the South, God deliver us from the Southern rabble."

The rebel soldiers became more and more insulting and overbearing. Finally, in the month of May, they commenced to shoot down Union men in the streets. The first man they singled out was Charles S. Douglas, a gentleman who had been conspicuous at the election as a Union man. They deliberately shot him down from the window of his house, in the day time. Mr. Brownlow was in the street at the time they made propositions to shoot down other Union men. Thinking prudence the better part of discretion, they retired from the crowd, many of them slipping into their houses quietly. But the work of murder and slaughter went on. Finally, many of the loyal men had to flee to the mountains—to the mountains of Hepsidam, if you please, said the speaker.

They remained away for several days, sleeping in the open air, and subsisting on bread and meat brought from their homes, with a quantity of game which they shot.[32]

The rebel troops took possession of Mr. Brownlow's printing office—destroyed his press and type, and converted the building into a blacksmith shop for altering old flintlock muskets which Floyd had stolen from the Government. They were contemplating the destruction of his dwelling house, and would have accomplished it but for the timely arrival of General Zollicoffer, who, being a personal friend of the Dr.'s, set a guard around the premises, and issued an order confining the Texan troops to their camps for two days.

Retiring to Knoxville, Mr. Brownlow received a letter from Gen. George B. Crittenden, stating that he had been ordered by the Confederate Secretary of War to give him (Brownlow) a passport beyond the Confederate lines into the State of Kentucky to a Union neighborhood. Mr. Brownlow was about to accept the General's proffer, when he was arrested on a charge of treason, for writing and publishing what appeared in the Knoxville Whig as his farewell letter to his patrons and subscribers. On the 6th of December he was thrust into the Knoxville jail. He found in the jail one hundred and fifty Union men—the building crowded to overflowing. Every man confined on a charge of treason was a personal friend of Mr. Brownlow's. They ran around him in astonishment, and asked him what he was thrown into prison for. Some of them shed tears, others smiled when they saw him enter the iron gates. He told them he was under arrest for treason on a warrant just issued. He had been in jail ten or twelve days when a Confederate Brigadier General, whom he had known as an old Union man, paid him a visit. Upon entering the jail with two of his Aides he shook hands with him. The prisoners[33] all crowded round to see the "sight." After a while the Brigadier said it was too bad to see Brownlow in such a place, and tried to impress upon the patriot's mind the propriety of his taking the oath of allegiance to the Confederacy, upon which condition he should be released immediately. Brownlow was in a good humor until that proposition was made. That stirred up the bile of his stomach. "Sir," said he to the officer, looking him full in the eye, "I will be here till I die with old age, or till I rot in prison, before I will take the oath of allegiance to the Southern Confederacy. You have no Government. I deny that you are authorized to administer such an oath. You have organized a big Southern mob—not a Government. You have never been recognized by any civilized Government on the face of God Almighty's earth, and you never will be. And yet you are here asking me to take the oath of allegiance to the vilest mob that was ever organized South of Mason and Dixon's line. Not wishing to be profane, nor desiring to be regarded by you in that light, permit me to conclude my remarks by saying that I will see your Southern Confederacy in the infernal regions, and you high on top of it before I will take the oath." The officer remarked that that was d—d plain talk. Mr. Brownlow replied that it was the right way to make men understand each other. The General turned upon his heel, tipped his duck-bill cap and walked off. [Applause.]

When the speaker entered the jail he found among the inmates three Baptist preachers. One of them, a Mr. Pope, 77 years of age, was charged with having prayed to the Lord to bless the President of the United States, to bless the General Government, and put an end to this unholy [34] war. Another old man—a minister—70 years of age, was thrust into jail for having thrown up his hat and hurrahed for the stars and stripes when a company of Union Home Guards marched by his house with the stars and stripes flying over them. The third, a young man, was confined for having volunteered as chaplain in a Union regiment.

The sufferings of the inmates of the jail the speaker described as horrible. The food they were supplied with was rank and unwholesome. He, himself, got permission to receive meals from his family, otherwise he should not have been able to live through his long confinement.

Toward the conclusion of his address, Mr. Brownlow related several instances in which prisoners had been taken from the jail and hung by the troops after a few hours warning. Once they hung a father and son, whose sole offence was their loyalty to the Government, on the same gallows. They compelled the father to witness the agonies of the son before permitting death to come to his relief. The most affecting case mentioned was that of an old man, who, after a lengthy incarceration, was sentenced at ten o'clock one morning to be hung at four that afternoon. His name was William Henry Harrison Self. His daughter, a highly intelligent and well educated lady, hearing this awful news during the day, hastened to the jail, and, with great difficulty, obtained permission to visit the condemned man. The meeting of father and daughter was a scene which drew tears from the eyes of a hundred and fifty men long used to hardship and suffering themselves. They embraced and kissed each other, neither of them able to utter a word for some time. At about one o'clock the young lady approached Dr. Brownlow, and asked him to write, in her name, a[35] despatch to Jeff. Davis, at Richmond, asking him to grant a pardon to her father. The Dr. did this, stating in the despatch, as follows:

"Honorable Jefferson Davis:

"My father, W. H. H. Self, is under sentence to hang to-day at four o'clock. My mother is dead; my father is my only hope and stay. I pray you pardon him. Let me hear from you by telegraph.


The young lady carried this despatch to the telegraph office, a distance of two miles, in greatest haste, and had it sent to Richmond immediately. Shortly before three o'clock she received an answer from "President" Davis commuting the old man's sentence to imprisonment, for such length of time as the Commanding General should see proper. The joy of his daughter was, of course, boundless. When Mr. Brownlow left Knoxville, on the 3d of March, Self was still in jail. He has been released before this time, Southern "justice" being satisfied in the premises.


General S. F. Carey was next introduced. He referred to the deliverance of Dr. Brownlow as a release from dangers greater than those that surrounded Daniel in the lion's den, and from beasts far worse than beset the prophet. His deliverance was not to be credited to their magnanimity, but their fears.

He did not like to find fault with the Government, but it did seem to him that it was time it should bestir itself, and[36] prosecute the war with greater vigor. Nor did he approve the policy pursued towards those taken in rebellion against the Government, referred with much bitterness to the tenderness displayed in the cases of Magoffin, Buckner, and the rebel prisoners at Columbus. He didn't think the penitentiary the place for them, and would not have the convicts contaminated by them. There was no inmate of the penitentiary, though he had been guilty of murdering his father, mother, or brother, whose crime was not innocence itself compared with that of these rebel prisoners, who sport their uniforms in the streets of Columbus, insulting the fathers and brothers of those men who had fallen in defence of the Union, and sitting in privileged seats in the legislative chambers of the State.

The audience had heard the narrative of the sufferings of loyal women in the South, and yet we have women in the State of Ohio who go to Columbus, with the avowed purpose of making the rebel officers comfortable,—conduct that in his opinion, and notwithstanding their sex, deserved the halter. He had no sympathy with the rebellion or with rebels, and was for cleaning them out root and branch.

In speaking on this subject, he felt the utter feebleness of human language. After it was exhausted, the great crime of rebellion looms up in all its terrible proportions. God speed the day when we shall be delivered! And yet he had no hope for the country till all the remnants of miserable partyism are swept away; he had no hope for it, while politicians were busy at the Capital intriguing and scheming for the preservation of some old broken down faction called a party. We need patriotism, not party.

Referring to the remarks of Mr. Brownlow, respecting[37] the treatment that should be meted out to disunionists North and South, Mr. Carey said that while he respected the right of free speech, he was for hanging any man who favored disunion and dared to say so. Every man has his rights, the convict on the gallows, the thief in the penitentiary, but when a man abuses his rights, the right of free speech, to express himself in favor of disunion, be he Wendell Phillips, or any other man, cut him down.

The masses of the people in the North are in favor of a restoration of the Union as it existed before the war. But if the war continues, and the people of the rebellious States are given over to hardness of heart, if they shoot our pickets, if it proves necessary to send a few more thousand men from the loyal States to put down the rebellion, and people Southern grave yards, a cry will go up from Maine to the Pacific to clean out the rebels, niggers and all.

He believed the whole purpose of the Administration in the prosecution of the war, was to preserve the Republic and all its institutions as they existed when it came into power; and nothing is more certain than that the Union will be preserved, though it cost all our property and half the lives in the Republic.

He appealed to mothers to exert their influence in kindling a spirit of exalted patriotism, and to teach their sons not to be Democrats or Republicans, but to be patriots; and appealed to the ladies of the city to visit the hospitals, comfort the sick, point the dying to the land where there is no secession and no rebels, and give of their time, sympathy, and means to soothe the sufferings and lighten the afflictions of those who had volunteered in defence of the Union.

Gen. Carey, of whose vigorous speech we give but a brief[38] outline, retired amid prolonged cheers. The "Star Spangled Banner" was sung, and Lieutenant-Governor Fisk, of Kentucky, introduced by the Chairman.


Mr. Fisk said he believed we were, all of us, filled with a righteous determination to give the present Administration all the aid in our power to put down the rebellion. He remembered when deputations of the Legislatures of Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio had met in that place, and that on that occasion no sentiment met a more hearty response than that of Andrew Jackson: "The Union must be preserved." What we want is the Union and the Constitution as they were; and while our armies are in the field fighting for their preservation, let us be careful that no mischief-makers at home pervert the object of the war to the utter subversion of one or the other.

He didn't believe in this talk about the subjugation of the South. On his side of the river that was the argument of the secessionists, and was considered evidence of sympathy with the rebellion. He did not know what it was called on this side of the Ohio, but he did know that every such menace was eagerly caught up and magnified by those confederated with the rebels. The Government was doing nothing of that kind. It was fighting for self-preservation and a restoration of its authority, and it was its duty to send out all the troops necessary to put down the rebellion. We must fight for the preservation of the Constitution and Union, and we must preserve them or we cease to exist as a nation. If the rebellion succeeds the Government is at[39] an end, and our history as a nation terminates. We must fight to preserve them not only for ourselves, but the rising generation and those who shall come after them.

He asserted that all the bloodshed, and all the suffering and misery entailed by this war, history would charge directly to the account of the wicked men who had inaugurated it, and not to the loyal people of this country. It was our duty to go on with this war, and to prosecute it, not in a malignant and revengeful spirit, but with the simple and patriotic purpose of putting down the rebellion and restoring the supremacy of the Government over every inch of its rightful territory.

At the conclusion of Mr. Fisk's remarks, the little sons of the members of the Ninth Ohio Regiment were conducted to the stage, and introduced to the audience. The lads sang a song in German; and when they had retired, the whole audience joined in three cheers for the Ninth Ohio, which were given with a will, the vast assembly rising to their feet.

The resolutions were unanimously adopted; after which, the proceedings were brought to a conclusion, and the audience dispersed.


During his stay in Cincinnati, Mr. Brownlow received a pressing invitation to meet the Methodist ministers of the city, and address them; in accordance with which he was[40] introduced to a meeting, held in the editorial rooms of the Western Christian Advocate, by Rev. J. T. Mitchell. Rev. Dr. Kingsley then welcomed the illustrious visitor in the following


Fellow Citizen, Friend and Brother:—In behalf of the Methodist Clergymen of this vicinity, I welcome you to our city, our homes, our hearts. Our desires and prayers were never more sincere for anything, than for your preservation and deliverance, when we learned that you had been thrust into a cold, damp prison, for no other crime than loving your country, and hating treason. Thank God, the prayers of millions of loyal hearts have been heard in your behalf.

Paul, and Silas, and Peter, Apostles of the Gospel, were liberated from prison in answer to prayer. The God in whom they trusted has also heard the prayer in behalf of an Apostle of Liberty and Union.

Your patriotic utterances in your noble paper were eagerly received by the friends of the Constitution, and, multiplied a thousand fold, those utterances sped upon the wings of lightning to the most distant parts of our country. They were inspiring to the loyal people of the United States. We were thankful to know that there was at least one Parson in Tennessee who could love God and his country too—his whole country. One such man can chase a thousand, and two can put ten thousand to flight. So we conclude that Parson Brownlow and Andy Johnson are good against ten thousand rebels. With such pains and such pluck, such[41] nerves and such principles to guide, we trust the State of Tennessee will soon come right again.

We are aware that your Union principles have cost you something—cost you everything but life, and that which, to every true man, is dearer than life,—honor and rectitude. We bid you a warm welcome on this account. Situated as we have been, we deserve no praise for being Union men. To be otherwise would be to serve the devil just for its own sake. It would be like chopping off our hands just to see the blood run, or thrusting them into the fire just to feel the pain. But with you the case has been different. Spurning bribes and offers of aggrandizement, scorning the threats and terrors of traitors, you have preferred to suffer privations, afflictions and imprisonment, rather than prove false to the Government that has protected us all. By thus, in the face of danger and death, taking your stand so nobly against all odds, all hazards, all temptations, and machinations of wicked seducers, you have won the undying admiration of a grateful people. Your deeds have thus become so interwoven with the most eventful period in the annals of our country, that your name is henceforth to be a household word, so long as the American Republic shall live in fact or in history. Yours is the proud satisfaction of having done right for its own sake, in the face of powerful temptations to do wrong, and you have your reward. And if a very unpoetic man may be allowed to amend a couplet familiar to our school-boy days, I would venture to say:

"And more true joy the Parson exiled feels
Than Davis, with the traitors at his heels."

But, thank God, you are no longer exiled or imprisoned.[42] A tide has come in your affairs to bear you on to fortune. And it will be nothing strange, and no more than justice, if the same State which has confiscated your property, and imprisoned your person, should conclude to honor herself by honoring you, and shall yet say to you, "Well done good and faithful servant; be thou ruler over ten cities."

All that is necessary to the Union cause is enough of this same earnest, unflinching, unchanging determination to face and destroy this monstrous rebellion, no matter who or what opposes.

If the Union can not be preserved without saltpeter, then let enough of this article be employed to secure the result. And, if the disordered livers of political hypochondriacs can not be restored to healthy action without the use of blue pills, then let enough of these be given to work a cure.

God has given the American people a goodly heritage—the fairest the world has ever seen. There is not a nation under all the heaven where the pulse does not beat quicker, and the hopes rise higher, and the thoughts grow larger, at the very mention of the American Republic. Never have the hopes of humanity so centered in any nation. Our country had come to be regarded as the cradle of liberty, the home of plenty, and the asylum for the poor and oppressed of other lands.

Shall these high hopes perish? Shall this light of the Nations go out in everlasting darkness? Shall a few desperate men—desperate by their lust of power—desperate by disappointed ambition—desperate by their dark and damning apostacy from the faith of our fathers—shall these be allowed to destroy our glorious heritage?

Shall the son strike with rude hands the mother that bore[43] him? Nay, more, shall he tear her limb from limb, and give her flesh to dogs? Shall the fair fruits of the tree of liberty perish, the branches torn off, and the roots burned with fire? God forbid! Such a calamity to the present and coming generations of mankind must be prevented, cost what it will. It must be prevented, though it be necessary to send every leading traitor after Judas Iscariot; and if they will not, like Judas, wait on themselves, others must have the politeness to wait on them.

Again I welcome you to our homes and hearts. Our prayer is that your health may be restored; that your family may be preserved in your absence, and that you may be permitted to see a good old age in the midst of a prosperous, happy and united people.

And when your earthly pilgrimage shall approach its termination, and you retrospect the past, may you be able to say, in the language of one who has gone before you, and who preferred a prison to a guilty conscience, "I have fought a good fight; I have finished my course; I have kept the faith." And then, as you look to the future, may your eye of faith, like his, see for you laid up "a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give you in that day."

Parson Brownlow replied as follows:

I thank you, Brother, and through you the Preachers' Association, for your had expression of sympathy and regard. I claim, as a Union man, to have done nothing but my duty. I have always been a Union man, and have edited a Union paper for the last twenty-five years. I was traveling a circuit in South Carolina in 1832, when I was elected[44] to the General Conference, and there met with Rev. L. F. Wright and L. Swormsted. I was also traveling the Anderson District of the Holston conference in the same State, and living near Calhoun during the nullification troubles which were so soon throttled by Old Hickory. This thing called Secession originated in falsehood, theft and perjury. Floyd did the stealing, the masses of the people did the lying, and fourteen U. S. Senators from the Cotton States the perjury. While in the Senate, in the day time, they made a show of keeping their oaths, but at night they held their secret caucuses, planning Secession, and advising their leaders to seize the prominent forts of the South, and arms of importance wherever they could find them. I have no doubt there are better men in hell, or in the Penitentiaries of this or any other State, than the prominent leaders in this Secession movement. And I am sorry to say that the worst class of men now in the Southern Confederacy are the Episcopalian, Methodist, Baptist and Presbyterian preachers. High functionaries in the Episcopalian church are now drinking and swearing. Men who have met in our General Conferences with some of these aged brethren whom I now see around me, preach as chaplains on Sabbath, but swear and get drunk through the week. A Presbyterian minister in Knoxville invited all denominations to hold a union prayer meeting, to pray to the Lord to sink Burnside's fleet, and raise Lincoln's blockade. And at it they went, composed of many old clerical rips, who besieged a throne of grace, raising their hands, heaving and setting like an old Tennessee ram at a gate-post, that God would send lightning and storm and raise the blockade. And the Lord did give them a raise—at Roanoke Island, and with[45] that kind of lightning and storm which they did not expect in answer to prayer. I also heard a Presbyterian minister in Knoxville make use of the following words on the Lord's day, which he would give to show the degradation of the pulpit. In the course of his remarks he stated that Jesus Christ was a Southern man, and all of his Apostles were Southern men, save Judas, who was from the North. And that he would rather read a text from a Bible bound in hell than front one printed and bound North of Mason and Dixon's line. I regard the churches in the South ruined; and financially they are in a bad fix. I came across Dr. McFarren about seventy miles from Nashville, trying to run away; but his horse wouldn't work. He traded the horse for a mule, but the mule wouldn't work. When I left him he was standing on the street, in company with his wife and children, looking for another trade. Huston, Sehon and Baldwin were still in Nashville adhering to Secession. The citizens of Nashville could but note the contrast, and expressed their opinions in regard to the superiority of the officers and soldiers of the Federal army over those of the Confederate. The former were well-dressed and well-behaved, and did not insult citizens nor ladies upon the streets. While, on the contrary, the vagabonds of the Confederate army stole everything upon which they could lay their hands, and drove peaceable citizens from their homes. While there were some honorable exceptions in the Confederate army, strange to say it seemed to be mostly composed of the off-scouring of the land; swearing, lewd fellows, of the most degraded possible character. I had a hard time among them, and was satisfied that they intended to execute me. I owe my escape to the fact that for so long a[46] time I had been an editor, and, to a great extent, had gained the confidence of the people. The Union sentiment prevails in East Tennessee five to one. Among them my friends notified the leaders that, if Brownlow was hurt, twelve of their prominent men would be sacrificed for his life, and I think they were afraid to hang me. So they wrote to Davis and Benjamin that they had better release me; that I had many friends, and that my presence would continue to stir up the rebellion; and that, if they could send me out of their lines, they would get rid of me and my influence. Therefore Benjamin thought that, as I was a very wicked fellow and a great traitor, he would release me on conditions that I would leave the Southern Confederacy, and, if I would do so, they would give me a safe passport out of their lines. So I opened a correspondence with that little, contemptible Jew—Judas Benjamin, and consented to do for the Southern Confederacy what the devil had never done—leave the country. They still hold my wife and children as hostages for my good behavior. I don't think they will hurt them. I hope not.

But I told my wife, before I left, to prepare for execution, for, as certain as I got North, I would not behave myself, according to Jeff. Davis' understanding. I am now feeble, having been preaching and discoursing for thirty-five years. I have seen the day when I could have spoken five hours at a time; but my late imprisonment, in connection with my typhoid fever, has broken down my constitution. When feeblest, they doubled the guard, and pretended to think that my sickness was all a sham, in order that more liberty would be given me, and then I could escape. I told them that it was unnecessary, for if there was[47] no guard I could not run away. For I had written to Benjamin, and, if he would not send me away in the proper manner, I would not go. I had made up my mind to hang. I had seen my friends taken from the same prison—one or two at a time—and hung. Sometimes the father and son on the same day. While this was going on, they would say tauntingly, "Your turn will be next, for you are the ringleader and cause of all this trouble." I told them if they would give me the privilege of making a speech, one hour long, under the gallows, that I might speak to the people and pronounce a eulogy on the Southern Confederacy, that I would be willing to die. And I really think I could have swung in peace. It is my intention to go back to Knoxville and start my paper. I want to go with the army, and once more raise the flag of the stars and stripes, and then blaze away. They have been doing all of the hanging on one side, and I wish to superintend it on the other. My motto is, "Grape for the masses, but hemp for the leaders." They deserve hanging, for this is the most wicked rebellion ever known to the world. If you had given them a President and all the offices, there would have been no rebellion—for the "nigger" is a mere pretext.

After thanking the brethren, he was introduced to the Ministers and friends present, and then took his leave. During the day he visited the Book Concern, and expressed himself highly pleased with its evident prosperity.



Mr. Brownlow left Cincinnati for Indianapolis (via Dayton), accompanied by Messrs. Mayor Maxwell and James Blake, Esq., of the latter place, and General S. F. Cary and T. Buchanan Reed, of Cincinnati. The party were greeted with one continued ovation during the journey. At almost every station the cars were surrounded with eager crowds, anxious to see and welcome the tried hero and patriot. Upon his arrival in Indianapolis he became the guest of Governor Morton.

In the afternoon the party visited the prisoners at Camp Morton, where Mr. Brownlow made a brief speech, to which some of the rebels gave no very grateful reception. He was met with jeers, and cries of "Put him out," "Don't want him here," "The old traitor," &c., which he, having faced worse treatment under far more dangerous circumstances, gave little heed to. The insults came chiefly from the Kentucky prisoners, who have been, from the start, the most obstreperous and unrepentant of the rebel keepsakes.

Notice was given that the Parson would address the public in the evening at Metropolitan Hall. Although the night was dark and rainy, the large hall was crowded to its utmost capacity, with a highly intelligent audience. After music by the band of the 19th U. S. Regiment, the meeting was opened with prayers by Rev. James Havens. The fol[49]lowing gentlemen of the committee occupied seats on the platform:

Wm. Hannaman,
David McDonald,
Governor Morton,
Mayor Maxwell,
Calvin Fletcher, Esq.
Col. James Blake,
J. H. McKernan, Esq.
B. R. Sulgrove, Esq.
Alfred Harrison, Esq.


Gov. Morton then introduced Mr. Brownlow, who spoke at length of the causeless character of the rebellion, and its disastrous effects, and was frequently cordially cheered by his large audience. He gave an account of his ancestry, and showed how they had all been engaged in the service of the country, and always true to its flag and its principles. He said he had been called a traitor by R. Barnwell Rhett, of South Carolina. "Rhett" said he, "was named R. Barnwell Smith, but the Smiths being all Tories during the Revolution, he was allowed by a legislative act to call himself Rhett. He call me a traitor," said the iron old Parson indignantly, "when his illustrious ancestors were hunted by Marion through all the mosquito swamps of South Carolina." (Uproarious cheers and laughter.) He commented at considerable length on the rebellion and its leaders, and declared, with great emphasis, that "if the issue was to be made between the Union without slavery, and slavery without the Union, he was for the Union and let slavery perish. (Great applause.) Let every institution die first, and until the issue was made between the Union and the religion of Jesus Christ, he[50] was for the Union." (Tremendous cheers.) We have not space to report his whole speech, which was considerably over an hour in length, and was listened to with close and intense attention by all, and we must content ourselves with a report of the outrages practiced on the Union men, which he detailed with impressive eloquence and pathos.

In May last the South began to pour a stream as hot and ugly as hell itself from the Gulf States through Eastern Tennessee, towards Richmond and Manassas, and Norfolk and Lynchburgh, in the shape of a rebel soldiery armed with side knives and tomahawks, drinking gallons untold of bad whisky, and boasting largely and savagely enough of the things they should do in Washington. (Laughter.) I had an old banner, the stars and stripes, floating from the top of my house, on Main street, in Knoxville, Tennessee, in a conspicuous part of the city. They began to come to pay their respects to us—frequently a regiment at a time. Whole regiments of "wharf rats" from New Orleans and Mobile, as ugly and disgusting as they were vicious, would come at once, now and then, to "give old Brownlow a turn," as they expressed it. They would, en masse, come across the river on the bridge, surround my house, yell, throw stones, blackguard my wife and family, dare me to come out of doors, and I now and then accepted their invitations and made them the best bow I could. I have, time and again, gone out and given them very frankly and unreservedly my settled opinion of the whole concern, from Jeff. Davis down, assuring them that my scorn and contempt for them and the Southern[51] Confederacy was unutterable, and then, making them the best bow I could, I would go back into the house and leave them to yell and groan around the house till they saw proper to quit. This course they have steadily kept up all the year. And yet all of this time I was reading in the papers of Charleston, Savannah and Richmond, that the Confederate army was composed of the flower and promise of the Southern States. I told my wife that if those miserable, God-forsaken whelps that were screaming like devils around our house almost half of every day were the flower of the Southern Confederacy, my prayer would be—God save us from the rabble.

On the 6th day of November last we had an election in the Southern States for President and Vice President of the Southern Confederacy, with only two candidates in the field—Jeff. Davis and little Alex. Stevens of Georgia. And when we, of Eastern Tennessee came to vote at that election we did not vote at all, but we positively and utterly refused to have anything at all to do with it. The sheriffs, who were Union men, refused to open the polls, or to hold an election, thus giving the candidates the cold shoulder, and manifesting our contempt for the whole concern. And, gentlemen, you cannot fail to be surprised when I announce to you the fact that the great State of Tennessee, casting not less than 200,000 votes as her ordinary vote, gave Jeff. Davis and his colleague in villainy a miserable vote of 25,000. Those two men are to-day holding their offices by the vote of a miserably lean minority of the people of the State of Tennessee. Tennessee was driven out of the Union at[52] the point of the bayonet. The miserable rebel soldiery were stationed at the polls, wherever a poll was opened, with orders to prevent every "damned Union-shrieker" that might appear from depositing his vote. We had thousands of good Union men, men of good morals, members of churches, Methodists, Baptists and others, who had no desire to be involved in difficulty, and who saw that nothing could be accomplished by attempting to exercise their rights, and who said to themselves "we will stay at home and let the thing go by default." Let me tell you, ladies and gentlemen, if I know anything at all of any State it is the State of Tennessee, and I want you to mark well and treasure up in your minds the prediction I am about to make to you. I predict to-night that when Governor Johnson shall appoint a day (which he will do before long,) upon which the people of the State of Tennessee shall decide at the polls whether they shall come back again beneath the stars and stripes, when Confederate bayonets shall be driven completely out of the State, which they will be soon, the "Volunteer State" will come back into the Union by a majority of 50,000 votes. (Cheers.)

There is also, at this very time, a powerful Union sentiment in each of the other Southern States. These Southern traitors may talk to you about the "unanimity" of feeling in regard to the war, but let me assure you that it is all false. There is no unanimity in the Southern States. Louisiana never voted herself out of the Union. The wretches who were in power there smuggled the vote. The truth is that secession was lost in Louisiana. Georgia barely went out of the Union.[53] Alabama was forced out through the treason of Jerry Clemens and others. The "Old North State" will gladly come back again. The Old Dominion, what shall I say of her? God bless her while he curses her leading politicians. Virginia is about ready to come back. She is just about sick enough now to be willing to take medicine.

But whilst it is true that there is no unanimity in the Southern Confederacy in regard to the war, there was one remarkable instance of unanimity that occurred in Tennessee just about the time that we people of the Eastern portion of the State refused to vote. By a strange freak of Nature, or Providence, or something else, all the railroad bridges between Bristol and Chattanooga took fire all at once, and burned down, one night about eleven o'clock. I was not concerned in the matter, and can't say who did it. I thought to myself that the affair had been most beautifully planned and executed, and enjoyed it considerably in my quiet way. (Laughter.)

It was but a little while afterward that the Legislature passed a law to disarm all the Union men of the State. Of course I was called on, in common with the rest. They did not find much to seize, however, at my house. They got a double-barreled shot gun, a Sharp's rifle, and a revolver. That was all the weapons I had. Then they commenced waiting upon all the private families. They took all the good horses that belonged to Union men. They entered their dwellings, threw off the feather-beds from the bedsteads, took all the woolen blankets and coverlets they could get hold of. They[54] broke open chests and drawers, and pocketed what money and jewelry they could find in them. They carried away bacon, drove away fat hogs and beeves, and robbed the people of every species of moveable property.

They next began to arrest them and throw them into jail. Nor was that all. Many of them were shot down upon the streets, or in the fields, in cold blood. I could give names in abundance, and dates, and places. I speak not from hearsay, but from my own personal knowledge. A man would be quietly about his work in his fields, and some one would point him out as a Union man, and the infernal rebel cavalry would shoot him down as a "damned Union-shrieking Abolitionist."—Others were stretched lengthwise upon logs of wood, raised a short distance from the ground so as to admit of their arms being tied underneath it, and were then stripped naked, and almost literally cut to pieces. And afterwards, when those men would come into courts of justice, and pull off their shirts and display the marks of the inhuman treatment they had suffered, the Judges upon the bench would coolly inform them that these were revolutionary times, and that they could give no redress for such grievances. Every prominent jail in East Tennessee was filled with Union men.

Take the case of Andy Johnson. He is a man against whom I have fought for twenty-five years with all my might, pouring hot shot into him continually, both on the stump and through the columns of my paper, and he in turn giving me as good as I sent. He and I are to-day upon the most amicable terms. We, the people of East Tennessee, have merged every other issue into[55] this great issue of the Union. (Loud applause.) You ought to do so in Indiana. You should never touch one of your aspiring politicians with a ten-foot pole unless he is totally and unconditionally opposed to this infernal rebellion. Where would I see a man who is base enough to sympathise with secession before I would vote for him for office? I would send him where, in the language of Milton,

"Cold performs the effect of fire,"

or, as Pollock says,

"Where gravitation, shifting, turns the other way,
And sends him Hellwards."

They drove Johnson's wife, far gone with consumption, and very feeble, to take refuge with her son-in-law in the adjoining county of Carter. They drove him into the woods, where he remained no less than three months, used his house and his beds for a hospital, and sold his goods at public sale. But the scale has turned. Andrew Johnson is now Governor. He is "the right man in the right place."

If President Lincoln had consulted the Union men of Tennessee as to what man should occupy that position, the reply would have been almost unanimously, "give us Andy Johnson." He has the unflinching courage of Old Hickory, and let me tell you, too, that he feels all the malice and venom requisite for the occasion. He will row those wretches up Salt River. He will send a good many of them to Fort Warren, where, I trust, after due trial for treason, they will be hung upon a gal[56]lows of similar character and dimensions to that upon which Haman hung.

When, upon the 6th of November, they thrust me into jail at Knoxville, I found one hundred and fifty men whose sole offence was their faithfulness to the Union. Every man among them was an acquaintance of mine. Three of them were Baptist preachers. One of these three, old man Pope, a man seventy years of age, and for many years a Minister of the Gospel, was thrown into jail for praying, previously to his sermon, for the blessing of God upon the President of the United States. The Rev. Mr. Kates, a man about seventy-five years old, was imprisoned for throwing up his cap and hallooing as a company of Union Home Guards was passing.

When I entered the door the inmates of the prison were perfectly astonished. Some of them were so overpowered by the nature of the circumstances, that they could hardly speak. "O," said they, "we never expected to come to this. We never expected the day would come when we would look through the iron grates of a prison!"

I said to them, "Boys, cheer up. Are you here for murder, or counterfeiting, or horse-stealing? No. You are here for no other offence than that of defending the glorious stars and stripes, and I look upon this as the brightest day of my life. These scoundrels will be sick of this business before the thing is over."

While I was in the jail both of these poor preachers were taken sick. The furniture of the prison deserves description. There was no sign of a bedstead, not a[57] chair nor a stool of any kind, and the only "furniture" there was consisted of a dirty wooden pail and two tin cups. The whole one hundred and fifty prisoners could not lie down at once, so that we had to "spell" each other, so all might have a little while to sleep. A part stood while the others lay down. That's the way we lived in the jail.

These poor old preachers came near dying. The rebels showed me one favor. The jailor, I knew, as a mean, sneaking rascal, whom I had published in my paper for forgery, and I was sure that he would give me arsenic in order to make sure of my not doing so again, and I obtained permission for my wife to send me my dinner every day, and I had to send the basket full every day, and in this way I had the satisfaction of feeding those two feeble old preachers for two weeks with something they could eat.

Old Mr. Kates had three sons in jail. Madison Kates was on the verge of the grave with typhoid fever. He lay upon the floor of that damp brick jail, with an old overcoat under his head for a pillow, and a single thickness of old home-made carpeting between him and the cold, damp floor of the prison. In this condition his poor wife came thirty-five miles to see him, with an infant about six weeks old in her arms. She came into the yard of the prison and asked permission to see her husband. The officers said "No, they did not allow any body to have anything to say to these infernal Union-shriekers." I went to the window then, myself, and by dint of perseverance, prevailed upon them at last to let her see her husband. They limited her to just fifteen[58] minutes. When she entered the door her eyes fell upon her husband lying in the corner, so weak and emaciated that he could scarcely stir. He was nearly gone. She held her infant in her arms. The sight of her husband in that condition unnerved her completely. Seeing she was upon the point of letting the child fall, I took it from her and she sank down upon the floor beside her husband. Neither of them uttered a word, but clasping each others hands they sobbed and cried together, and O, my God! I hope that I shall never see such a sight as that again.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is the spirit—the hellish, inhuman, infernal spirit of secession. The Devil himself is a saint, compared to the leaders in that scheme.

In Andrew Johnson's town they hung up two men to the same limb, and the bloody Col. Ledbetter, a man born and educated in the State of Maine, going down to Mobile and marrying a lot of negroes through another woman—the worst man, the biggest coward, and the blackest-hearted villain that ever made a track in East Tennessee—this man tied the knots with his own hands, and directed that the victims should be left hanging for four days and nights right over the iron track of the railroad, and ordered the engineers to run their trains slowly by the spot in order that the secessionists on board might feast their eyes upon the ghastly spectacle. And it is a fact as true as it is revolting, that men stood upon the platforms of every train that went by and kicked the dead bodies as they passed, and struck them with sticks and ratans, with such remarks as "that they looked well hanging there," and that all "d——d[59] Yankees and traitors should hang that way too." It is true that Col. Ledbetter, as the weather was somewhat warm and the corpses were becoming somewhat offensive, ordered them to be cut down at the expiration of some thirty-six hours, but it was for the convenience of his secession friends purely, and not from any other motive.

One day they came with two carts and took old Harmon, a Methodist class leader, and his son. Old Mr. Harmon was seated in one cart upon his coffin, and his son in the other, and each cart was surrounded by a strong guard of rebel bayonets, and driven down the hill to a scaffold in sight of the jail. The young man was hung first, and the father was compelled to look upon his death struggles. Then he was told to mount the scaffold, but being feeble and overpowered by his feelings, two of the ruffians took hold of him, one of them saying, "Get up there, you damned old traitor!" and the poor old man was launched after his son.

A few days after this they came up to the jail with another cart. We never knew whose turn was to come next. I had "counted the cost." I intended, if my turn had come, to meet my fate with the best grace I could. I had prepared a speech for the occasion, and I can assure you that I should have pronounced a handsome eulogy, if I had been called upon, for if I have any talent in the world, it is that talent which consists in piling up one epithet upon another. But it turned out that the cart was not intended for me. It was intended for a young man by the name of H. C. Haun, an excellent young man of fine morals and good com[60]mon sense. He had a wife and two small children. Haun was informed one hour before hand that he was to be hung. He immediately asked for a Methodist preacher who lived in the town, to come to see him, and to pray with him. The reply was: "We don't permit any praying here for a damned Union-shrieker."

Haun met his fate like a man. When under the scaffold, a drunken, lying chaplain rose up, and delivered a short address. Said he, "The poor, unfortunate young man, who is now about to pay the penalty of his crimes, says that he regrets his course, and that he was led into it through the influence of traitors. He is, therefore, deserving of your pity." As quick as thought Haun sprang to his feet, and in a much stronger and steadier tone than the lying villain beside him had made use of, said: "My fellow citizen, there is not one word of truth in what that man has told you. I have made no such concession. On the contrary, all that I have said and done, I have said and done after mature deliberation, and I would do the same again. I am here ready to be executed. Execute your purposes." He died like every Union man ought to die when called to face death by villains and traitors.

My fellow citizens: I congratulate you upon the fact, now sufficiently clear, that the rebellion is now pretty well "played out." We will wind the thing up this spring and summer. They are nearly "out of soap" down South. They lack guns, clothing, boots and shoes. The boots I have on cost me $15 in Knoxville. They are out of hats, too. In Knoxville there is not a bolt of bleached domestic or calico to be had, nor a[61] spool of Coat's thread, and, although "Cotton is King," we never made a spool of thread south of Mason and Dixon's line. Sewing needles and pins are not to be had. The blockade is breaking them up. It has been remarked on the streets of Knoxville, that no such thing as a fine-toothed comb was to be had, and that all the little secession heads were full of squatter sovereigns hunting for their rights in the territories. [Laughter and applause.]

The Reverend Doctor retired amid continued applause and cheering, and was followed by General Samuel F. Cary, of Ohio, who, though his remarks were brief, were marked with that spirit-stirring eloquence for which he is noted. Many of his patriotic allusions and decided and unerring blows at traitors were received with vociferous shouts of applause. He said that all were rejoiced at the delivery of Brownlow from the clutches of tyranny, but our rejoicings were saddened by the thought that multitudes like him were flying to the mountains for safety, or were rotting in prisons, or were being hanged and murdered for loving their country. He wished the President and Government could learn to appreciate the magnitude of the rebellion. It was time that hemp was used to hang the leaders of this wicked rebellion. It had been said by the sympathisers with this infernal war against the Government, that the Abolitionists had brought the war upon the country. This was simply a lie. The President and all connected with the management of the Government had manifested a desire to protect slave property above all other property. He, for one,[62] would protect a loyal man like Brownlow in his property, be it slave property or otherwise; but he would confiscate the property of rebels, their lands, their houses, their niggers and their necks. The integrity of the Republic should be saved at all cost, and he would be willing for a still further sacrifice of life and expenditure of money, rather than compromise on any other principle or condition than that every leader of the rebellion should meet the death of a traitor upon the gallows.

He claimed that slavery was only a pretext with the conspirators who originated the rebellion—it was not the cause of the war. It was mainly hostility to popular government on the part of the aristocrats of South Carolina and other fire-eating States. South Carolina had in it during the Revolution more tories than any other State, and she never had an organized government that conformed to the requirements of the Constitution—it was not Republican in form. A property qualification was required for voters larger than that of England. The people never voted for President or any officer save that of members of the State Assembly, and the poor man had no voice even in that election. Their judges, elected for life, came upon the bench clothed in gowns and wigs, and the Speaker of their Legislature was ushered into his chair according to the old British custom, adorned with robes, and in the most pompous manner. They had no penitentiary in that State, but the whipping-post, ear-cropping and branding were the punishments most in vogue.

The speaker said he sometimes felt gratified that this[63] war had come upon us. We had been a nation of party worshippers, and had lost sight of that spirit of patriotism that should ever guide freeman of so great and free a nation. He hoped that party spirit would be obliterated forever, though we had men in Indiana who were plotting how to make political capital out of the misfortunes of the country. Next to secessionists, he despised such men. They were so selfish that they would sell their grandmother's bones to button makers.

His motto was: "Let Slavery take care of itself." Let us put down the rebellion, and whatever may come in the way of accomplishing this purpose, be it slavery or what else, let it perish. He had been called a proslavery man, because he had advocated non-interference with the question in the States. He believed that it was requisite that the institution should exist as a contrast to be constantly kept before the laboring men of the North as an encouragement to labor. Invention was the child of an educated people, and our great improvement in the sciences, arts and mechanics, was attributable to our respect for and aid given to the man who earns his bread by the sweat of his brow. Let the problem work itself out. Like the skunk that the man would not kill, but confined until it stunk itself to death, slavery was destined, if left alone, to kill itself. It had been said that it would be best to divide the country, and let the secessionists have a country of their own. The channel of the Mississippi will never be permitted to be owned or obstructed by any other government, and no other flag will be allowed to wave but the proud ensign of the American Union. Americans can never consent to be humiliated to ask passports into a foreign country to visit the tombs of Washington, Jackson or Clay, and Indianians should never consent to allow Kentuckians to give a quit claim deed to the ashes of their dead ancestry now mingling with the soil[64] of this State. The country never will be divided. Let us all unite then in extinguishing the rebellion, and vindicate ourselves by hanging Jeff. Davis and Toombs between the heavens and the earth.

Alluding to the course pursued by Southern divines, General Cary said Bishop Polk now utters oaths, and he did not wonder at it, for when a man becomes a rebel he has severed the last link that binds men to their God, and there was no hope for their repentance or salvation. He had told a Universalist preacher lately to quit preaching his doctrines until after the rebellion, for a real fire and brimstone hell was wanted for the benefit of its authors and abettors.

General Cary concluded his brief address amid cries of "go on," "go on," but owing to the lateness of the evening he declined to say more.

The popular chorus of "Glory Hallelujah! the Lord is on our side," was then sung by a number of musical amateurs, after which Governor Morton announced the news just received of General Pope's brilliant victory, which the audience received with vehement cheering. The patriotic Parson joined in with the assemblage, and waved his handkerchief exultingly.

T. Buchanan Reed, one of the nation's best poets, was introduced by Governor Morton, who read, in a style that but few professional readers could excel, some extracts from patriotic poems and songs of his own composition, viz: "The Wild Wagoner of the Alleghanies," "A Tribute to the Brave Ones at Home," and "The Defenders." Each and all of these readings were received with applause by the audience.

After "Hail Columbia," by the band, the meeting adjourned. Take it all in all, it was decidedly the most intellectual and spirit-stirring entertainment Indianapolis has ever witnessed.



The Parson left Indianapolis for Chicago on the 8th of April, attended by General Cary and others, and arrived at the latter place on the morning of the 9th, having met, all along the road, repeated and earnest demonstrations of welcome, from the sympathizing, loyal masses of the people.

During the whole of Thursday, the 10th, Mr. Brownlow was the recipient of visits from the citizens of Chicago. Between the hours of 11 and 12 there was a crowd of ladies gathered in the spacious parlors to pay their respects, and during the introductory exercises he made the following impromptu remarks:

Ladies and Gentlemen:—When I had the honor, last evening, of meeting and being introduced to the committees which your city sent to greet me, I remarked that those committees formed the finest body of men I ever saw. But when I look at the sweet faces and forms which I now see before me, I am ready to pronounce those men a very ordinary looking lot. If I am more particularly attached to the tall ladies, it is because I am more strikingly reminded of the loved ones at home.



It being understood that the Parson would make his appearance on 'Change at 12 o'clock, long before that hour arrived large numbers of the citizens, members of the Board and others, began to gather there, and by noon the spacious rooms were packed to their utmost capacity with persons eager to catch a glimpse of the redoubtable Parson, and pay him that respect to which his patriotic conduct has entitled him. At 12 o'clock the distinguished guest entered, arm in arm with Mayor Rumsey, and followed by the different Committees of Reception. The Parson's appearance was greeted with hearty applause, and, when order was restored, Stephen Clary, Esq., made a few appropriate introductory remarks; after which, Mayor Rumsey arose and said:

Fellow Citizens:—It may have been expected that on this occasion I would make a speech before you; but such is not my intention. The condition of my health, and the hoarseness with which I am afflicted, render it well-nigh impossible for me to speak at all. I will, therefore, only say that, in behalf of the city of Chicago, whose chief magistrate I am, it is my privilege to introduce to you Mr. W. G. Brownlow, and in your behalf welcome, to the hospitalities of our city, this noble patriot, who has periled not only his temporal interests, but his life, for the Union cause in Tennessee. It is sufficient that I mention his name to you.

After the Mayor had concluded, J. C. Wright, Esq., on behalf of the Board of Trade, addressed Mr. Brownlow in an eloquent and stirring manner, as follows:

[67]Rev. W. G. Brownlow:—At the request of the officers of this Board of Trade, I have the honor, sir, of performing the most agreeable duty of welcoming you to our Exchange.

It is not, sir, because of any official position you now hold, or have held, that this vast assembly has gathered here to receive you; but, sir, it is a mark of respect and admiration for your patriotic devotion to your country. When this horrid rebellion assumed its gigantic proportions, the loyal men of the North watched with anxiety the course of many men of the South, whom we had delighted to honor with the highest positions of trust and power. With rare exceptions we saw them retreating into the ranks of the traitors, using their influence, wealth and position to strike down the mildest and most beneficent government which God in his mercy had ever permitted man to establish. They beguiled and deceived the people, who had been accustomed to look up to them, and listen to their counsels. Many of the arch traitors, not content to act with the popular voice of their States, joined the ranks of the rebels, endeavoring to force their States to disregard their allegiance to that glorious Union which, for nearly a century, had thrown its genial influence and protection over a united, happy, and prosperous people. Amidst all this horrid exhibition of treason, and malignant, hellish hate, when the heart grew sick at contemplating the dark and dismal scene before us; when your neighbors and friends around you, in vast numbers, had deserted that old flag, consecrated by our fathers' blood, and were trampling under foot that Constitution which had so long been our pride and our hope, you, sir, stood firm and unmoved in your devoted patriotism.[68] Threatened with the halter, with your grave yawning before you, with scorn you spurned proffered freedom in such honors as traitors could confer. To you the grave had no terrors to be shunned by an act of disloyalty to your beloved and now grateful country.

We are now rapidly making undying history for future generations to read. When the history of this wicked rebellion—for I can not call it an honorable war—is written, it will be sadly deficient, if its pages do not tell, in words that burn, the story of your wrongs, your fortitude, and your unswerving devotion to your country in the hour of her great trial. Our children will need no romance to stir their young hearts, but the truthful picture of your sufferings and heroism will fill the place of high wrought fiction. We shall no longer point to the classic ages for noble examples of heroes, who laughed at the halter and rack, and scorned life at the price of dishonor.

Sir, it is because you have so loved your country, and suffered for your principles, that we this day welcome you to our Exchange, to our hearth-stones, to our hearts.

In behalf of the officers, and of the more than nine hundred loyal members of this Board, again, air, I bid you welcome. Amid the stirring, glorious news of the triumph of our arms, I bid you welcome.

At the close of Mr. Wright's address, Parson Brownlow arose, and, after pausing a few moments until the tumult of applause had subsided, in a calm, clear voice, began his remarks. His first few words were uttered in a low tone, scarcely audible except to those nearest the speaker; but presently his voice was raised to a higher key, and, with his[69] distinct and emphatic enunciation, every person in the vast crowd could easily hear and understand.

He said he claimed no credit for his acts in Tennessee, for he had simply done his duty—nothing more—and any man who would not, under similar circumstances, do the same thing, deserved to be hung. He was a Union man from principle, not from policy. He had always been a Union man; it was no new thing with him. He had opposed secession with what abilities God had given him, under all circumstances, and wherever, in his presence, it had shown its vile features. And this he should continue to do, at the risk of being mobbed and hung, if need be. He was a national man; he had no sentiments in the South that he was not willing to promulgate in the North; and none in the North that he would not proclaim upon the house-top in the Southern States. In 1828, the speaker supported John Quincy Adams for the Presidency, and for that act incurred the hatred of many of his friends in the South. At a later day, when Mr. Adams presented before Congress a petition for the abolition of slavery, the speaker also defended him in that particular; for, though not an abolitionist, he had always contended that a Congressman's constituents had the right to petition that body for anything they might desire. He had supported that eminent statesman, Henry Clay; and, when he died, he would willingly have voted for Clay's last pair of pantaloons, stuffed with straw! He had advocated the claims of Daniel Webster, for his gigantic intellect and commanding statesmanship entitled him to the highest honors of the nation. But the last ticket he had supported was the Bell-Everett ticket, which bore such a close resemblance to a kangaroo—being the strongest[70] in its hinder parts. He should make a trip to Boston, purposely to visit Edward Everett, and to take him by the hand, for he was a patriot. But as to "Old Man Bell," he was fast traveling the road leading to a certain locality where traitors and devils are sure to land eventually. Being destitute of nerve, moral courage, of fixed patriotic principles, the weak old man had succumbed to the hell-born and hell-bound heresy of secession.

The speaker here made allusion to the treatment he had received from the traitorous rabble in his own State, and gave a brief sketch of his imprisonment in the Knoxville jail; of the threats of immediate execution with which his ears were daily regaled; the actual hanging of many of his companions in the prison; and many interesting particulars of the struggle between treason and loyalty in Eastern Tennessee. He stated that, for many days, he fully expected to be hung, and had become perfectly resigned to his fate, provided his persecutors would grant him one privilege, which was, that from the gallows he might be permitted to address them for one hour. "I had prepared myself for the occasion," said Mr. Brownlow, "and I intended to do the Southern Confederacy justice—to pronounce a high-wrought eulogy on the concern, from Jeff. Davis down to the smallest secession Devil among them."

The speaker thought that the Union sentiment of Eastern Tennessee had never abated one iota; that there were thousands of good Union men there, who would hail the approach of the Federal army with sincere joy. Gen. Jackson put down the rebellion of 1832, and, though this was a much more formidable uprising, he believed Abe Lincoln would subdue it. "My friends," said the orator, "the[71] hanging must begin on the other side, this season, and I want to superintend it. You may think I speak harshly; but, after what I have seen and experienced among the rebels, how can I feel differently? I tell you, my hearers, I intend to go back to Tennessee, before long, under different circumstances from those under which I left the State. I want to go back in company with Gen. Fremont; I want a big war-horse, and a military suite, and the General and myself will ride down among those rebels, and, if you will excuse my apparent egotism, I do believe the scoundrels had rather see the Devil coming after them!"

After paying his compliments to Mason and Slidell, both of whom he knows personally, the Parson remarked that, "When this rebellion is put down, England and France will have to behave themselves, or we will thrash them both."

The speaker then thanked the citizens for the kind reception given him, and closed his speech with the promise that they should hear from him again in the evening. He took his seat amid a storm of applause, that emanated from the hearts as well as the mouths of his hearers.

Gen. S. F. Cary, of Cincinnati, being present, was loudly called for, and, taking the stand, proceeded to deliver one of the most thrillingly eloquent speeches to which we have ever listened. We have not room for even a summary of this production, but those who are familiar with the celebrated Cincinnati orator will appreciate the meaning of our observation, when we say it was one of Gen. Cary's happiest efforts.

After he had closed, Frank Lumbard was called upon for a song, and, mounting the stand, gave, in his best style,[72] "The Star Spangled Banner," the entire assemblage joining in the swelling chorus, with splendid effect. The crowd then filed out past the President's desk, where sat the Parson, each individual grasping his extended hand with evident emotions of sympathy and kindly regard. Mr. Brownlow and party soon after repaired to the Sherman House, where they partook of a sumptuous dinner.

In the afternoon the party made a visit to Camp Douglas, and spent some time in making observations among the very class of men from whose clutches the Parson had so recently escaped.

Transcriber's note

The following changes have been made to the text:

Page 16: "the crimes" changed to "The crimes".

Page 23: "by-gone" changed to "bygone".

Page 24: "jeapordizing" changed to "jeopardizing".

Page 24: "ignoniminous" changed to "ignominious".

Page 29: "water-goards" changed to "water-gourds".

Page 33: "unhol" changed to "unholy".

Page 36: "did'nt" changed to "didn't".

Page 36: "intrigueing" changed to "intriguing".

Page 37: "voluntered" changed to "volunteered".

Page 38: "did'nt" changed to "didn't".

Page 44: "could fine them" changed to "could find them".

Page 49: "Browlow" changed to "Brownlow".

Page 56: "hardly syeak" changed to "hardly speak".