Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly, 15 April 1865, Nova Scotia Confederation with Canada.

SATURDAY, April 15.


The House of Assembly met this morning at 11 o'clock, and the Provincial Secretary immediately moved a resolution to adjourn until Monday next. He said:—I need not say that this House has been deeply shocked by the intelligence which has just been received of the death of President Lincoln.   Both branches of the Legislature having been on Thursday last informed that His Excellency would come down at 3 o'clock for the purpose of assenting to several Bills which have passed, I felt it my duty, proposing as we do, to adjourn this House, to put myself in communication with His Excellency who entirely concurs in the appropriateness of this House marking its sympathy with the people of the United States, who have thus lost their Chief Magistrate, and their deep abhorrence of the crime by which he had been removed. The House is aware that when exactly four years ago this day the first intelligence reached this country of the commencement of hostilities in the American Republic, this House placed on record its sentiments by the following resolution:—
Resolved unanimously that the House of Assembly of Nova Scotia have heard with deep regret of the outbreak of civil war in the United States, that this House, without expressing any opinion upon the points in controversy between the contending parties sincerely lament that tjose who speak their language, and share their civilization should be shedding each other's blood, and offer up their prayers to the Father of the Universe for the speedy restoration of peace."
This resolution sufficiently marked the feelings with which this House viewed the begining of hostilities which have so long and so terribly distracted the neighboring republic. It is not to be denied that as that struggle ad 246 PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES. vanced, when the people of British North America. witnessed the heroic resistance that a comparatively small number of men in the Southern States made against overwhelming odds, a large amount of sympathy was excited in the minds of many—that sympathy which is always excited when a small body is seen contending with great bravery against superior numbers— in favour of the South. But although that feeling has existed to some extent—although there have been persons in this country who believe that the material interests of British America would be promoted by a separation between the Northern and Southern States, and that great Republic being thus divided into two governments; yet I am confident that there is not a British subject in British America who will learn the untimely death of President Lincoln and the circumstances under which it has occurred without the feeling of the most unfeigned sorrow and the most profound regret. It is well known that President Lincoln was elected the President of the United States of America by the intelligent and freely expressed voice of the people of that great country; and no man who has observed the course that he has pursued can entertain a doubt that he has regarded it as a conscientious duty—a duty from which, under no circumstances, he was able in the slightest degree, to shrink—to maintain the sovereignty of his government over the entire country. That he has persistently pursued that policy with an inflexibility of determination and strength of purpose which must for ever mark him as a man of commanding talents, no one can deny, and I am satisfied that the sentiment of the people, and of those who are placed over the people, throughout British North America, will agree in the opinion that he has been actuated by a conscientious discharge of what we believed to be a patriotic duty in that crisis of his country's history. Under these circumstances I feel that it is right that the neighboring governments in B. N. America should, as far as their means would permit, exhibit on the present occasion their deep sympathy with the people of the neighbouring states who have lost their Chief, Ruler, and, at the same time, mark their deep abhorrence of the atrocious crime by which he has been removed. I have, therefore, to offer to the House the following resolution:
Resolved unanimously: that this House have heard with the most profound regret that the President of the United States of America has fallen by the hand of an assassin, and that, as a. mark of sympathy with the people who have thus been deprived of their Chief Ruler, and of their abhorrence of the atrocious crime that has been committed, this House do adjourn until Monday next.
Mr. Stewart Campbell, who seconded the resolution, said:—On any ordinary occasion I should regret the absence of the learned member for Colchester, who occupies a position in this House which would peculiarly call upon him to second any resolution demanding the united action of all parties in this House. But this resolution is of no party, and requires not that any particular individual should second it. It is indeed one that need not be formally ascended by the lips, for it is sustained by the feelings of every gentleman around these benches. The hon. Provincial Secretary has referred to the awful tragedy of which we have just received the painful intelligence, in terms so feeling, and so appropriate and just, that although according to parliamentary usage, I have undertaking my present duty, but little observation is requisite on my part to confirm or endorse those sentiments. We all feel, Sir, that an occurrence has taken place which at the present age of the world is not only an outrage upon an individual and a nationality, but is an ourage upon mankind and the civilization of the world at large; and although we belong to another Empire than that in which this dreadful scene has been enacted, we are deeply moved by the awful fact that there has been a gross outrage committed against those feelings which are and ever will be, respected in every country that prides itself in the possession of the privileges of civilization and the blessings of christianity. I think the course taken by the government in adjourning this House as a mark and testimony of its feelings on the present melancholy occasion is extremely appropriate, and will be sure to meet with the cordial approval of every member in this House and of every man in this country.
The resolution passed unanimously, and the house adjourned.


Nova Scotia. The Debates and Proceedings of the House of Assembly. Halifax: Croshill and Bourinot, 1864-1867. Digitized by Canadiana.



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