Letter from John W. Emmons to Samuel Downer declining his invitation to the reunion, with reminiscences
Springfield Mass Aug 6th / 77
Mr Downing Chairman of Reunion of Fee Soilers
Not being able to be with you in person on Thursday next - I want to be in Spirit. I trust you will have a pleasant + profitable time. Looking back at the changes in time since the ball of Free Soilism began to roll - much pro-gress has been made. Having been an eye witness when our belov’d friend W. Loyd Garrison was mobbed in Boston with a rope around his neck by a mob <insertion: of> Boston aristocraty[sic] - pardon me for the thought - but how many of that motly crowd has had, or would have had a rope around their necks if law and justice had been meted out to them. Christianity and Democracy joined hand in hand in those days. Democracy consisted in giving the negro the scars and the stripes beneath the Stars and Stripes under the eaves of the National Capitol. Christianity was embodied in the person of <insertion: that> eminent of and pious general who on the plains of Mexico on that beautiful Sabbath morning as he met the enemy before him rises in his stirrups and with eyes heavenward utters that holy and pious prayer "Give em hell God damn em".
Oh Democracy and Christianity thou art a consistent jewel when joined hand in hand. How changed the times now and then.
Now we miss a Parker a Sargeant a Mann a Garrett Smith an Andrew and a beloved Sumner and a host of others who have passed away leaving the motto Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord, for their works do follow them.
Wishing you a happy time
I am yours truly yours
John W. Emmons.