Never, perhaps, has there been so
plainly revealed the underlying unity of our great nation as during
the days of its grief for the murderous assault upon its President.
All that was best in national life was then brought to the front.
Men of all parties, of all races, and all religious opinions were
united in a common sorrow and a common loyalty. After all, important
as they are, the divisions which are thrust into view in times of
political excitement do not run very deep. Beneath them all is the
solid bed rock [sic] of a great national spirit of loyalty and patriotism.
And the terrible adjectives employed and the dire disasters threatened
by each party when speaking of its opponents come largely from fevered
Nevertheless, it is impossible that
this event should pass by without our learning one lesson at least.
It has been a blot upon our national honor that through mistaken
loyalty to freedom of speech, mingled with an inexcusable neglect
to rebuke recognized evil, we have permitted the doctrine of reform
by assassination to be taught openly and unforbidden. It is the
immediate duty of every state legislature, in Massachusetts as elsewhere,
to provide, so far as can be done by law, for the suppression of
the propogation [sic] of the doctrines of anarchy and to declare
that murderous attacks upon the life of the President are traitorous
and punishable by death. It makes one shudder to think that the
tragedy of Buffalo might equally well have happened when the President
was the guest of our own Commonwealth.