Christian Recorder: November 22, 1862
Turner writes about the firing of General McClellan, a musical concert, and other happenings in Washington, DC.
Keywords: General McClellan, Music, Choirs,
Mr. Editor − Among the most interesting occurrences that have taken place since you have heard from your correspondent, is the removal of Gen. McClellan, that man who was Napoleonized through the papers, and crowned by negro chattel-makers, monarch of America. It was thought by many here as it was thought of John C. Calhoun in South Carolina, that if McClellan would die the world would end, but he is dead, “and it moves nevertheless.”
Though I am informed that a few military epaulet straps became strangulated at the idea and resigned; but with that exception I believe every body thinks it was done through military necessity.
Abraham Lincoln will yet write his name upon the pages of History, so indelibly, that time’s indefatigable cycles shall never be able to efface it. Not only has he proved himself above the fledges of partyism, by killing Gen. Fremont on the one side, and Gen. McClellan on the other, but that proclamation, over which the triumphant notes of heaven rolled along the confines of bliss, with evidences of higher ecstasies, than customarily, reverberated in overpowering rapture, across the boundaries of light and felicity, will tell upon this annuls of eternity in character, of such splendor, as shall gild the name of Abraham Lincoln forever. Would that Milton’s poetic notes could unthread the maze of his virtues, and they were engraven in the rock of ages. But his acts will stand emblazoned in colors of glaring glory, amid the retinue of the world honored, till the sun of time shall set no more to rise.
The choir of Israel church assisted by some of the celebrated vocalists of Union Bethel, and 15th Street Presbyterian churches, gave a grand concert for the benefit of said church, on last Monday and Tuesday nights. The concert was conducted by Prof. J. F. Wilkerson, whose acquaintance with musical science none will question. I deem it inexpedient to deal in personalities in this matter, as so many would be entitled to a panegyrical notice, that adequate remarks might be an intrusion upon your columns. But the pieces were well selected and judiciously executed. The singing, however, was much better the second than it was the first night. This grew out of the fact, that they neglected on the first night, to ventilate the church, and the crowd being so dense, the oxygen of the air was soon exhausted or absorbed, and the house became so impregnated with carbonized matter, that a harsh hoarseness soon followed, which materially disturbed the symphony of the music. But that annoyance was arrested the second night by a more philosophical discretion. And thus nature and art were brought into harmony, with such a glorious success, that the rhapsodical modulations which poured wave after wave through the ravished audience, held them enchantingly till the spell was broken by its finis, and then laudatory acclamations burst forth, i.e. shouts, whistles, handclaps and feet stamps, in every part of the house. The concert upon the whole was a grand affair, and not unproductive of a moral lesson.
Several distinguished ladies, belonging to said church, have been holding what they call a festival in the new lecture room for the past week. The names are too numerous to give in detail, but Mrs. Casandra Dent, a lady of unflinching nerve, was the prime mover of it.
The several colored churches in the city were notified last Sabbath to send five delegates on Friday night to Union Bethel church, as business of importance would demand their attention. In accordance with said notice they met, at which time they temporarily organized themselves into a meeting, by electing Mr. William Slade as chairman and secretary pro. tem., &c. The object of the meeting was then stated, to be for the purpose of organizing upon some systematic basis, a plan by which the contrabands in our city could be cared for, and the commiseration of the various churches could be converged into Union Relief Associations, and stop that too long practiced fraud, which has been going on by parties assuming to be friends, when their acts prove them inveterate enemies to our people. They, however, adjourned without doing more than laying out the plan of operation. I will give a fuller account in my next.
This afternoon a terrible explosion took place in the hospital lot, near Seventh Street Bridge. It appears they had some powder condemned by the Government, to which they set fire, and the powder proved to be a great deal better than they anticipated. And thus it made the most terrific report ever heard by any in this city. It appeared that the very foundations of the earth gave way, and not only did hands shake and tremble, but the very air vibrations were so dreadfully intensified, that for whole squares it shivered every glass window to atoms. In many places it not only broke the glass, but knocked out the entire sash, split doors and silenced clocks. I was told that the excitement would likely injure some persons considerably.
The first Baptist church have granted their pastor, Rev. Mr. Leonard, a furlough for six months, for the purpose visiting Liberia. Rev. Mr. Maddan, recently from the Allegheny Institute, is employed to fill his place till his place till his return.
A venerable sister many years a member of Israel church, viz: Sylvia Wilson, died yesterday, Nov. 14th, at 6 o’clock, P. M., after a week’s sickness. She will be remembered by several ministers, as her house was always the receptacle for that class of care-burdened travelers.
President Lincoln has been for several days refusing to see anyone, however high their position. He is either preparing his message, or don’t intend to be swerved from his principles.
H. M. T.
Washington, Nov 15, 1862