Christian Recorder: March 28, 1863
Turner writes about the happenings in Washington, DC.
Mr. Editor: - I am sorry that my engagements render it impossible for me to give you a regular correspondence, but I will drop you a few lines at all events, merely to call your attention to some of the more special items of things which are taking place.
The Haytien minister, who has been here a few weeks, is attracting no little attention among all class of society. Although I believe he continues himself strictly to the society of his diplomatic peers, he has sternly refused to receives visitors, unless those who rank equally with himself. I am informed that several of our people have called on him; but an interview was rejected upon the ground that he did not receive visitors. This course of proceeding, I do not only think is justifiable, but highly commendable. I do not wish to be understood as advocating a policy looking to an aristocratical isolation of a man of my race, simply upon the ground that he holds a rank of elevation, but when an uninjuring separateness will effect an object far more advantageous to whom the isolation is made than could be by an open armed embrace, I think it should be done, regardless of the whims and frowns of the pride-touched parties. I have been asked by fifty persons, Why, have you not called on the Haytien minister? NO! Why not? Ain’t you going to? No! What’s the reason? Because I have no business with him; furthermore, I think it impolite to do so. He did not come here to see me, nor to protect my interest in any way whatever; neither did he come here on a visiting excursion. I believe he has been the guest of Secretary Seward and some others.
Rev. Wm. T. Catto is in our city and has preached some able discourses to our people. If the country did not know him, I might speak of some of his traits of character and his peculiar giftedness to the work of the ministry. His is certainly at home in the pulpit.
Dr. Gloucester, the brother of Rev. Mr. Gloucester, of Brooklyn, New York, is here, and has been holding interviews with President Lincoln nearly every day for over a week. He has also been the frequent guest of Mrs. Lincoln on one or two occasions. Governor Williams had the pleasure of introducing him to General Fremont, at which time he offered the General ten thousand colored soldiers to be known as the Fremont Legion. The General was highly elated at the offer, and most cordially congratulated the move in the colored people, and is anxious for the government to allow him to take command of them.
I was never more shocked in my life than I was the other day, on hearing that Liberia had employed a white man to represent her to this government. If that be a fact, Hayti has knocked every laurel from her crown, and disgraced herself before God and man. I hope the report is false, because I have ever loved the name of Liberia from the first time that I understood it meant freedom to the black man. But if she has employed a white minister to perform the duties of a colored man, at the very place above all other places where colored representation is required, my sympathy is greatly diminished.
Prof. S. G. Brown has recovered again, and lectured before the Island Literary Association on Wednesday evening. I presume you will have a full report of it from one of the members.
The first Baptist Church is having a great revival, under the auspices of the Rev. Mr. Madden.
Last Sabbath was a very disagreeable day, caused by the rain and hail, which in the afternoon fell very heavily. I must relate a circumstance which also occurred on that day, which is too important to go unnoticed. A certain preacher was invited by another to come and assist him with a meeting, and in the afternoon a very severe hail-storm began, and the invited preacher asked for the loan of an umbrella, as he was compelled to go home; but after the entire congregation refused to let him have one, though there were a great number on hand, he turned to the preacher in charge and asked the use of his, as he was at home, and the invited preacher had a long ways to go through the rain and hail then falling. But the preacher, who had invited the other, told him he could not loan him his, for he was going to the city tomorrow and must have his umbrella. I don’t wish to narrate the whole affair, but if I had invited a dog to my house to have barked for me, I would have treated him with more gratitude. The whole affair was one of the grandest exhibitions of little-heartedness I have ever witnessed.
H. M. T.
Washington, March 21st, 1863