Pennsylvania Peace Society, Assembly Buildings, Philadelphia, November 17–18, 1868
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178 Pennsylvania Peace Society, 1868 8. On November 19 Workingmen’s Associations and Eight-Hour Leagues had staged a procession in Washington, D.C. (New York Times, November 20, 1868). 9. George Peabody (1795–1869) became wealthy as a Boston dry goods merchant and financier; Alexander Turney Stewart (1803–76), who owned one of the earliest department stores in New York City, developed an interest in tenement houses (Brooklyn Daily Eagle, November 23, 1868); and Matthew Vassar (1792–1868), founder of Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, made his fortune as a brewer. Pennsylvania Peace Society,1 Assembly Buildings, Philadelphia, November 17–18, 1868 I think it is very important that we should have just such speeches as we have listened to.2 While we have the Government based upon war, and the paraphernalia of war is so attractive, it must be that there are some among us who shall go great lengths and speak as we have heard this evening, and present the crime in its true light, and it is well that there is daring enough among us to speak the whole truth on this subject. Everything depends upon going to the root of the matter and speaking of radical principles. Long enough have we been accustomed to apologize for the slave-holder, to be reconciled to the system because it was connected with the government, because iniquity was protected by law. The fact that there were those who came forward and held up this great crime in its true light, roused the people, and they did not love to have it so. I regard the abolition of slavery as being much more the result of this moral warfare which was waged against the great crime of our nation, than as coming from the battle field, and I always look upon it as the result of the great moral warfare. It is true that Government had not risen to the high moral point which was required to accomplish this great object, and it must use the weapons it was accustomed to employ, and in its extremity it was compelled to do this great work. So in regard to war, it must be held in its true light and the enormity of the crime be laid where it belongs. Such arguments as we have heard this evening, and others that can be presented should be given and I doubt not that there will be persons who will go forth imbued with peace principles who will be able to go on farther and farther. The progress that has already been made is encouraging. I remember when Joshua Blanchard3 and other friends entered upon the subject some were afraid to go too far and too fast, they thought that war in selfdefense must be permitted, and they were looking forward for some millennial day when peace would take the place of war. We know there has been progress since that time, and from that time the peace principles have spread considerably, and as far as we have gone we have become more nearly sound in the principles of peace, and now we look at war in its true light, and it is well to do all we can to enlighten people on this great subject, so that they shall come to look at the possibilities of peace. We have to look for a change in public sentiment in the government before we shall have attained to the state that the advocates of peace desire. Pennsylvania Peace Society, 1868 179 We must be able to speak of things which we have known, what our hands have handled of this good word of life. When we thus present to the people the sound policy of the peaceful state, the reasonableness of arbitration and reference among nations for the settlement of International difficulties as we have been accustomed to settle individual difficulties . When all the troubles that are connected with man’s relations, that are now made the causes of war, have been presented to the people in the light which they can readily perceive to be true, they will readily accept them for there is a love of peace in the heart of every one. They will come to see that there is a reasonable principle that will lead us to abandon the barbarism of war. It will not be long before the whole nation may be brought to see that peace is possible and desirable in a christian state. Another result, that we may...


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