Friday, April 10, 2009

*American Roots Music- From Soup To Nuts-The PBS Documentary

Click on title to link to PBS's website for the "American Roots Music" documentary.

DVD Review

American Roots Music, narrated by Kris Kristofferson, various artists, 2 CD set, PBS Productions, 2001

From soup to nuts, indeed. I have over the past couple of years gone through the back pages of the American songbook to look at old style country music-eastern and western varieties, the blues both country and electric and all the regional variations like the Delta and Texas sounds to name a couple and the quintessential American music –jazz. I have gone back, way back, to the pre-radio, pre-recording days to get the lyrics for songs that dealt with hard times, soft times, soft loving, hard loving and no loving. I have taken musical trips through the bayous of Louisiana to get that Acadian/Cajun sound. I have gone to the hills and hollows of Kentucky to get that old time mountain music. I have goe to the Western caverns to hear the sounds that inspired the Native American traditions. I have looked at the roots of rock and roll backward, forward and sideways from rhythm and blues and gospel to rockabilly.

Frankly, I had wanted to do the project for a long time and I was glad to do it. For those who have just come to an appreciation of roots music or who want the long view though this Public Broadcasting System (PBS) production will give you all you need to know in capsule form, complete with the informative “talking head” commentary with well-known musicians in each genre covered, in a 2 CD four hour series that goes though all the genres mentioned above and some that I have not spend much time on yet, especially Tejano and Carib-derived music.

The producers of this effort have gone back to the old days of barn dances, local radio shows and vaudeville to bring out the various regional musics that form the roots of today’ musical expression. They trace the divergent black and white trends that converge in the post World War II period with the arrival of blacks in great numbers in the urban setting and whites, especially white teenagers hungry for new musical expression- as long as it was not something that their parents liked. Some time is also spent on the importance of the urban folk revival movement of the early 1960s as a central element in helping a whole generation search for those lost roots- all the way from gospel (in the church and in the streets), mountain music (especially the use of the old time musical instruments), Cajun (the whole Acadian exile experience when the bloody British took over in Canada) and the country blues, especially the work of those Mississippi Delta artists who influenced the post-World War II Chicago-based electric blues explosion. The best parts for me though were the Tejano and Carib-derived music sections that I had not previously been as familiar with. But I will get familiar fast. ‘Til then, the roots is the toots

Thursday, April 09, 2009

***A Man Of Africa- The Music Of Tony Bird

Click on title to link to Rounder Record promotional material on the "Sorry Africa" CD reviewed below. I could find nothing on YouTube of Tony Bird doing that title song, "Mango Time" or the incredible "Rift Valley" and my personal favorite "She Came From The Karoo". Maybe someone else will have more luck.

CD REVIEW

Sorry Africa, Tony Bird, Rounder Records, 1990


Blues and rural folk music, historically important on the American music scene, have always been in debt, acknowledged or not, to the sounds of Africa. Without getting into a treatise here on that subject if one is interested in the blues then it should be one's business as it was for a poet like Langston Hughes, for example, to dig into the African roots. The same quest, obviously, needs to be taken for those in who live in an increasing urbanized Africa today. Tony Bird, the artist under review here, is a man of Africa and takes that identity seriously. Moreover he is a white man of Africa. And to top that off he is a white man, one of the few unfortunately when it counted, who stood up against colonialism, neo-colonialism, white racism and apartheid. Hats off.

Somehow, someway Tony Bird through that experience has incorporated the language, the sound and, most importantly, the spirit of Africa in his music. That feat is put on display front and center in this nicely done, although all too short, CD that shows that he has assimilated those traditions. Starting from the lushly poetic, upbeat "Rift Valley" through to his signature jump tune "Mango Time" through the politically-driven title track "Sorry Africa" his sense of his African homeland shines through. He is not as successful when he slows down the beat and gets caught up with trying to deliver a message on a track like "Athlone Place" but that is merely a minor flaw in this well-produced CD by Rounder Records. By the way, Tony, for your efforts against colonialism and white racism there is no need to say sorry. The new Africa that is struggling, painfully, fitfully and with reverses to be `aborning' should recognize that.

Note: I first heard Tony Bird many years ago on an old vinyl record album entitled "Tony Bird" where I was mesmerized by his "Rift Valley" and more so by "She Came From The Karoo". The reason that I am reviewing this 1990 CD is that I recently attended a Tony Bird concert where he did a few of the songs from that old album. I make the same comment about that performance as I do about this CD. He does his Africa-centered songs as lustily and with the verve of twenty years ago, and still is as mesmerizing. His `message' songs, none of them included here, are more uneven. "New Jerusalem' is very powerful (if a little long) concerning the need for some kind of just settlement to the Palestinian question. However, "Mr. Meanie" a parable about the Bush years, "Aint't Nobody's Business Who You Love" about the varieties of possibilities inherent in the love experience and "Well Done, America", his Africa tribute to the election of Barack Obama as the first black American president were less so. Still, if you get a chance, he is well worth seeing when he hits his stride.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

*Another Small Victory For Gay Marriage Rights-Vermont Legalizes Gay Marriage With Veto Override

Click On Title To Link To Article On Califronia Supreme Court Gay Marriage Ruling.

*Another Small Victory For Gay Marriage Rights-Vermont Legalizes Gay Marriage With Veto Override

Here are a few paragraphs from the Associated Press report of April 7, 2009 on the Vermont legislative actions that legalized gay marriage in that state.

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MONTPELIER, Vt. — Vermont on Tuesday became the fourth state to legalize gay marriage — and the first to do so with a legislature's vote.

The House recorded a dramatic 100-49 vote, the minimum needed, to override Gov. Jim Douglas' veto. Its vote followed a much easier override vote in the Senate, which rebuffed the Republican governor with a vote of 23-5.

Vermont was the first state to legalize civil unions for same-sex couples and joins Connecticut, Massachusetts and Iowa in giving gays the right to marry. Their approval of gay marriage came from the courts.

Tuesday morning's legislative action came less than a day after Douglas issued a veto message saying the bill would not improve the lot of gay and lesbian couples because it still would not provide them rights under federal and other states' laws....

*****

Commentary

Full Marriage (And Divorce) Rights For Gays And Lesbians In Every State!

As I noted just last week in this space (see “A Small Victory For Gay Marriage Rights- The Iowa Case”, dated April 4, 2009) I have, more often than I would like, noted that on some key democratic questions, here the question of equal access to the marriage bureau for gays and lesbians, we get help from some unlikely sources. As always though, we will take our small but important victories anyway we can get them. In that case it was the Iowa Supreme Court doing yeomen’s work on this issue. Here, in the Vermont case, it is the state legislature that has provided the impetus.

That is indeed unusual as most legislative action has been going in the opposite direction. This has allegedly reflected the social opinions and political desires of the so-called ”silent majority” of heterosexual marrieds who are assumed to feel threatened by opening the marriage bureaus to gays and lesbians, including those here in Massachusetts. Here, unsuccessful attempts were made to override the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s landmark decision by calling a constitutional convention as the prologue to initiative action like California’s successful efforts to put the issue before the voters. The Vermont decision may not have the same political impact as the Iowa decision as it may seem to be seen as reflecting some exotic New England quirk but the legislative action should nevertheless not be underrated for its value as precedent. In short, a good talking point for further actions as the struggle heads to other states.

As I also mentioned in that Iowa commentary in discussing this issue the core location of the struggle for the democratic right for gays and lesbians to have access to the marriage bureaus now appears to be in the states. The highest courts of three states (Massachusetts and Connecticut, along with this recent Iowa case) and a now overturned fourth, California, have held that such restrictive marriage regulations are unconstitutional in their unequal application and do not serve any rational governmental purpose. Although this represents a small minority (and here is where the initiative defeat in California in November 2008 really slowed down the momentum) there is something of a “snowball” effect to these kinds of judicial decisions as other state supreme courts now have some precedents to hang their hands on. But as I said then that is for later. For now though, another small victory goes into the books. As always our slogan remains- Full democratic rights for gays and lesbians, for the full rights of marriage (and divorce) to all. Everywhere.

*Local Boy Makes Good?- The Music Of New Orleans' Snooks Eaglin

Click on title to link to YouTube's film clip of Snooks Eaglin performing "Baby Please".

CD Review

Snooks Eaglin: The Complete Imperial Recordings, Snooks Eaglin, Imperial Records, 1995


One of the themes that have animated the musical reviews in this space is how and why some perfectly competent performer, either through his or her own limitations, predilections or just plain happenstance does not attain the kind of recognition that they deserve. That is the case of local New Orleans singer and instrumentalist Snooks Englin who, as this CD demonstrates, had the capacity to make a big name for himself in the blues world. Certainly his history of accompanying many other musicians who did go on to greater fame makes one wonder about the fickle fates that the musical gods have in store for those who challenge them.

In any case, one knows that Snooks’ pedigree as a premier New Orleans player, with its intersection of Cajun, Zydeco, electric and country blues and jazz, as reflected in his work should have led to greater success. Listen to his very nice covers of “C.C. Rider”, “Little Eva”, “Long Gone” and “Willy Lee” for proof of that proposition or his own works such as “Is It True”and "Down Yonder” and see what I mean.

Here are lyrics to:

C.C. Rider

You C C Rider, see what you done done
C C Rider, you see what you done done
You C C Rider, you see what you done done
You done made me love you and now your man done come

My home is on the water, I don't like no land at all
Home's on the water and I don't like no land at all
My home's on the water and I don't like no land at all
I'd rather be dead than to stay here and be your dog

So you C C Rider, see what you done done
C C Rider, you see what you done done
You C C Rider, you see what you done done
You done made me love you and now your man done come

I'm goin' away babe, sure don't wanna go
Goin' away babe, but I sure don't wanna go
I'm goin' away babe, but I sure don't wanna go
When I'm leaving this town you will never see me no more

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

*Hands Off Professor Bill Ayers- Let Him Speak

Click on title to link to "Boston Globe", April 2, 2009, article on Professor Bill Ayers discussed below.

Commentary

Okay, Okay I know that I have invoked the word professor ironically and in a somewhat tongue in cheek manner in discussing controversial Professor Bill Ayers in this space as an object lesson about the career paths of 1960’s ex-radicals once they have reconciled themselves to bourgeois society. Naturally when his name came up prominently in relation to the emergence of then-Illinois Senator Barack Obama I could not resist sticking a few well-deserved barbs Ayers’ way. But they were rather politically pointed barbs from the left about why an ex-Weatherman would be hanging around with a bourgeois candidate on the make like Obama.

But now news (somewhat dated news as I have been out of town and did not pick up the controversy until after it was over) about Boston College’s thinly- veiled slap at academic freedom by refusing to let the good professor speak in person or via satellite has crossed the line, even for the very arbitrary and capricious of so-called “academic freedom”. This is, moreover, is not solely a case of right wing commentators having a field day with the issue, although a local “Rush Limbaugh” wannabe helped fan the flames. I am sure that the right-wingers were more than happy when the Boston College administration decided to keep the academy and the minds of their young charges there “pure” from the taint of any old time radical. However, this is just one more in an ever- growing line of cases (think of Ward Churchill and the Finklestein case) where a college administration was more than capable, as in the past, of putting the clamps on by itself.

Here are the facts. Apparently, Professor Ayers was scheduled to deliver some kind of lecture on urban education (his specialty) at Boston College during the week of March 29, 2009 at the invitation of some student groups, including the College Democrats of Boston College. Such lectures by newsworthy figures are not unknown events on college campuses and moreover are a rather lucrative proposition for professors on the academic lecture circuit. The Boston College administration balked at that invitation citing a groundswell of opposition from local neighbors. Why? It seems that there is some lingering animosity concerning the shooting of a Boston Police officer by people allegedly connected with Professor Ayers’ old organization, the Weathermen. Professor Ayers, however, has never been charged, much less convicted, with any connection to that crime.

Why the furor then? Well, the Boston College administration, bowing to those inevitable amorphous unknown forces (although we can guess what those forces are now, can’t we), expressed its profound concern for the safety of the student community and “respect” for the local community (where it has been busily buying up real estate in order to expand its campus). Well, ho hum we have heard that ‘justification’ before. The kicker here on this bogus ‘safety’ issue is that when a televised Ayers lecture by satellite was proposed that too was deemed too “hot” to handle.

What really gives here though? One of the students in the article I am using for information (“BC won’t air Ayers lecture by satellite”, Boston Globe, Peter Schworm, April 2, 2009) let the cat out of the bag. This Ayers controversy, while an easy one for the administration to raise holy hell over, is not the first time that the BC administration has vetoed speaking engagements for controversial figures on campus. That interviewed student did not state who else had been banned but we can figure that one out also.

Needless to say birthday boy Charles Darwin might find it hard to get invited to this august university what with his oddball quirky theory of evolution (BC is an old-time Jesuit school). Much less the heroic Kansas Doctor George Tiller, one of the few abortion providers in that state (they would probably have a lynch mob out for him). So much for that vaunted “academic freedom”. Fortunately we never took that profession of freedom as anything but a very vulnerable “right”, although we gladly use it to get our socialist message out when we can. We remember the “red scare” of the 1950’s here in America when the academy knuckled under without a whimper. And, left to its own devises, most of the academy would have loved to have clapped down during the anti-Vietnam war movement; it was just too big and got way beyond the ability of campus administrations to effectively curtail it. Let us not kid ourselves on that score.

But what about Professor Bill Ayers? Apparently this Boston College incident is not the first college where some furor that has dogged him. I do not, at this time, have the details of Ayers’ other problems at other campuses. However, I heard him last November, just after the 2008 elections when he was touting his revised memoir, on the “Terry Gross Show” on NPR (as any Boston College student could have done, as well). He seemed none too radical in his presentation of his current politics which were tired garden variety left-Democratic Party ones that we have become all too familiar with from repentant radicals, although to his credit he did not abase himself in denial of his revolutionary past. Nor should he have. We were dealing with serious war criminals then in the Johnson/Nixon wielding the most powerful military machine/police apparatus the world has ever known in case one has forgotten or wasn’t around then. For now though. Hands Off Professor Ayers! - Let him speak on politics, education or whatever the hell he wants to talk about. Anywhere.

Monday, April 06, 2009

*Poet's Corner- Robert Lowell's "For The Union Dead"

Click on title to link to the "Modern American Poetry" web site entry for Robert Lowell "On The Union Dead".

Guest Commentary

In Honor Of The Union forces who fought and died defending the union and/or the abolition of slavery a poem written by Robert Lowell during the Centenary. Markin

Robert Lowell - For the Union Dead- 1964


"Relinquunt Omnia Servare Rem Publicam."


The old South Boston Aquarium stands
in a Sahara of snow now. Its broken windows are boarded.
The bronze weathervane cod has lost half its scales.
The airy tanks are dry.

Once my nose crawled like a snail on the glass;
my hand tingled
to burst the bubbles
drifting from the noses of the cowed, compliant fish.

My hand draws back. I often sigh still
for the dark downward and vegetating kingdom
of the fish and reptile. One morning last March,
I pressed against the new barbed and galvanized

fence on the Boston Common. Behind their cage,
yellow dinosaur steamshovels were grunting
as they cropped up tons of mush and grass
to gouge their underworld garage.

Parking spaces luxuriate like civic
sandpiles in the heart of Boston.
A girdle of orange, Puritan-pumpkin colored girders
braces the tingling Statehouse,

shaking over the excavations, as it faces Colonel Shaw
and his bell-cheeked Negro infantry
on St. Gaudens' shaking Civil War relief,
propped by a plank splint against the garage's earthquake.

Two months after marching through Boston,
half the regiment was dead;
at the dedication,
William James could almost hear the bronze Negroes breathe.

Their monument sticks like a fishbone
in the city's throat.
Its Colonel is as lean
as a compass-needle.

He has an angry wrenlike vigilance,
a greyhound's gently tautness;
he seems to wince at pleasure,
and suffocate for privacy.

He is out of bounds now. He rejoices in man's lovely,
peculiar power to choose life and die--
when he leads his black soldiers to death,
he cannot bend his back.

On a thousand small town New England greens,
the old white churches hold their air
of sparse, sincere rebellion; frayed flags
quilt the graveyards of the Grand Army of the Republic.

The stone statues of the abstract Union Soldier
grow slimmer and younger each year--
wasp-waisted, they doze over muskets
and muse through their sideburns . . .

Shaw's father wanted no monument
except the ditch,
where his son's body was thrown
and lost with his "niggers."

The ditch is nearer.
There are no statues for the last war here;
on Boylston Street, a commercial photograph
shows Hiroshima boiling

over a Mosler Safe, the "Rock of Ages"
that survived the blast. Space is nearer.
When I crouch to my television set,
the drained faces of Negro school-children rise like balloons.

Colonel Shaw
is riding on his bubble,
he waits
for the bless├Ęd break.

The Aquarium is gone. Everywhere,
giant finned cars nose forward like fish;
a savage servility
slides by on grease.

***From The Archives- 75th Anniversary Of The 13th Amendment Concert (1940)

Click on title to link to Josh White performing on YouTube.

CD REVIEW

February is Black History Month

Freedom: A Concert in Celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States (1940). The Golden Gate Quartet and Josh White at the Library of Congress, Bridge Records, 2002


Originally I had intended to review this historically valuable CD as part of my review of the work of Josh White (see Josh White review, “Free and Equal Man”, Archives February 2, 2009). However, after reading the copious liner notes provided by the Library of Congress, as always informative, that accompany the CD and then hearing the songs and oral presentations I believe that this work deserved a separate entry in this space. Especially as this is being reviewed during Black History Month.

One can argue for the historical value of this work on two levels. First as a tribute to the 75th Anniversary of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, the one that formally abolished slavery after the Northern victory in the bloody Civil War. That is a worthy tribute in itself. Second, the Cd has value as an extremely informative and almost scholarly presentation of the way that black musical culture acted as an integral part of the general American musical milieu as it evolved over the past couple of centuries. The first reason needs no special explanation here as the issue of the roots of slavery, the central fact of slavery (and its aftermath) in American history and the fight against it have been detailed in many entries and at many times elsewhere in this space. I will thus concentrate on the musical element.

Needless to say any musical program that has Josh White on it is assured of being a quality presentation. Here Josh accompanies the Quartet as guitarist and does a couple of his own songs. Moreover, the Golden Gate Quartet is a rather fine example of that old jubilee singing tradition popular in the early part of the 20th century that is discussed in the liner notes. What is surprising, although it should not be, is that the oral presentations are so informative. Based on the well-known researches of John and Alan Lomax and others like Sterling Brown and Alain Locke this is one of the best compilations of information about the roots of black music in all its forms: work songs, labor camp songs, prison songs; the farm; the hard life; the hard loves; and, in a few pieces just plain whimsy.

Most importantly though, this 1940 Concert CD and its accompanying booklet should let one and all know that well before we of the “Generation of ’68” , who cut our political teeth on the civil rights struggle in the South in the early 1960’s, took up the battle other forces had already paved our way. I speak here of the ground work done by the Lomaxes and others to bring this music to the notice of the larger public, but also of Josh White and others like Big Bill Broonzy in the cultural struggle against segregation as well as attempts by black scholars like John Hope Franklin and the above-mentioned Sterling Brown and Alain Locke to give some historic perspective to the struggle against slavery. I would hope that in 2015 when the 150th Anniversary celebration comes along we have a comparable piece of work to present on that occasion. And a more, much more, equitable society.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

*In Honor Of Abraham Lincoln's 200th Birthday Anniversary- Karl Marx's Letter On Lincoln's Re-election in 1864

Click on title to link to Karl Marx Internet site for more of Karl Marx on Lincoln and the American Civil War.

Guest Commentary

Some people are always surprised when socialists, like myself, these days praise a figure like Abraham Lincoln from the American capitalist past. They do not understand that capitalism at one point (against feudalism and its remnants)was a serious historically progressive system. That it is no longer so does not take away from the import of such figures as Lincoln, especially his role in the abolition of slavery. This too is one of those lessons from history we are always harping on. Forward!


The International Workingmen's Association 1864

Address of the International Working Men's Association to Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States of America

Presented to U.S. Ambassador Charles Francis Adams
January 28, 1865 [A]

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Written: by Marx between November 22 & 29, 1864
First Published: The Bee-Hive Newspaper, No. 169, November 7, 1865;
Transcription/Markup: Zodiac/Brian Basgen;
Online Version: Marx & Engels Internet Archive (marxists.org) 2000.


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Sir:

We congratulate the American people upon your re-election by a large majority. If resistance to the Slave Power was the reserved watchword of your first election, the triumphant war cry of your re-election is Death to Slavery.

From the commencement of the titanic American strife the workingmen of Europe felt instinctively that the star-spangled banner carried the destiny of their class. The contest for the territories which opened the dire epopee, was it not to decide whether the virgin soil of immense tracts should be wedded to the labor of the emigrant or prostituted by the tramp of the slave driver?

When an oligarchy of 300,000 slaveholders dared to inscribe, for the first time in the annals of the world, "slavery" on the banner of Armed Revolt, when on the very spots where hardly a century ago the idea of one great Democratic Republic had first sprung up, whence the first Declaration of the Rights of Man was issued, and the first impulse given to the European revolution of the eighteenth century; when on those very spots counterrevolution, with systematic thoroughness, gloried in rescinding "the ideas entertained at the time of the formation of the old constitution", and maintained slavery to be "a beneficent institution", indeed, the old solution of the great problem of "the relation of capital to labor", and cynically proclaimed property in man "the cornerstone of the new edifice" — then the working classes of Europe understood at once, even before the fanatic partisanship of the upper classes for the Confederate gentry had given its dismal warning, that the slaveholders' rebellion was to sound the tocsin for a general holy crusade of property against labor, and that for the men of labor, with their hopes for the future, even their past conquests were at stake in that tremendous conflict on the other side of the Atlantic. Everywhere they bore therefore patiently the hardships imposed upon them by the cotton crisis, opposed enthusiastically the proslavery intervention of their betters — and, from most parts of Europe, contributed their quota of blood to the good cause.

While the workingmen, the true political powers of the North, allowed slavery to defile their own republic, while before the Negro, mastered and sold without his concurrence, they boasted it the highest prerogative of the white-skinned laborer to sell himself and choose his own master, they were unable to attain the true freedom of labor, or to support their European brethren in their struggle for emancipation; but this barrier to progress has been swept off by the red sea of civil war.

The workingmen of Europe feel sure that, as the American War of Independence initiated a new era of ascendancy for the middle class, so the American Antislavery War will do for the working classes. They consider it an earnest of the epoch to come that it fell to the lot of Abraham Lincoln, the single-minded son of the working class, to lead his country through the matchless struggle for the rescue of an enchained race and the reconstruction of a social world. [B]

Signed on behalf of the International Workingmen's Association, the Central Council:

Longmaid, Worley, Whitlock, Fox, Blackmore, Hartwell, Pidgeon, Lucraft, Weston, Dell, Nieass, Shaw, Lake, Buckley, Osbourne, Howell, Carter, Wheeler, Stainsby, Morgan, Grossmith, Dick, Denoual, Jourdain, Morrissot, Leroux, Bordage, Bocquet, Talandier, Dupont, L.Wolff, Aldovrandi, Lama, Solustri, Nusperli, Eccarius, Wolff, Lessner, Pfander, Lochner, Kaub, Bolleter, Rybczinski, Hansen, Schantzenbach, Smales, Cornelius, Petersen, Otto, Bagnagatti, Setacci;

George Odger, President of the Council; P.V. Lubez, Corresponding Secretary for France; Karl Marx, Corresponding Secretary for Germany; G.P. Fontana, Corresponding Secretary for Italy; J.E. Holtorp, Corresponding Secretary for Poland; H.F. Jung, Corresponding Secretary for Switzerland; William R. Cremer, Honorary General Secretary.

18 Greek Street, Soho.


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[A] From the minutes of the Central (General) Council of the International — November 19, 1864:

"Dr. Marx then brought up the report of the subcommittee, also a draft of the address which had been drawn up for presentation to the people of America congratulating them on their having re-elected Abraham Lincoln as President. The address is as follows and was unanimously agreed to."

[B] The minutes of the meeting continue:

"A long discussion then took place as to the mode of presenting the address and the propriety of having a M.P. with the deputation; this was strongly opposed by many members, who said workingmen should rely on themselves and not seek for extraneous aid.... It was then proposed... and carried unanimously. The secretary correspond with the United States Minister asking to appoint a time for receiving the deputation, such deputation to consist of the members of the Central Council."


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Ambassador Adams Replies
Legation of the United States
London, 28th January, 1865

Sir:

I am directed to inform you that the address of the Central Council of your Association, which was duly transmitted through this Legation to the President of the United [States], has been received by him.

So far as the sentiments expressed by it are personal, they are accepted by him with a sincere and anxious desire that he may be able to prove himself not unworthy of the confidence which has been recently extended to him by his fellow citizens and by so many of the friends of humanity and progress throughout the world.

The Government of the United States has a clear consciousness that its policy neither is nor could be reactionary, but at the same time it adheres to the course which it adopted at the beginning, of abstaining everywhere from propagandism and unlawful intervention. It strives to do equal and exact justice to all states and to all men and it relies upon the beneficial results of that effort for support at home and for respect and good will throughout the world.

Nations do not exist for themselves alone, but to promote the welfare and happiness of mankind by benevolent intercourse and example. It is in this relation that the United States regard their cause in the present conflict with slavery, maintaining insurgence as the cause of human nature, and they derive new encouragements to persevere from the testimony of the workingmen of Europe that the national attitude is favored with their enlightened approval and earnest sympathies.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

Charles Francis Adams