March 30, 1865: Beecher wants to go to Charleston

Preparing to raise the old flag at Fort Sumter

The prominent abolitionist Henry Ward Beecher is anxious to go to Charleston for the planned celebration of the recapture of Fort Sumter. It’s a big occasion, and he seems a bit impatient with the Secretary of War for not getting right on the arrangements — surely Stanton doesn’t have anything more pressing to do.

Official Records:

BROOKLYN, March 30, 1865.
(Received 1 p. m.)
EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

There is a profound feeling about Charleston celebration. It grows daily. It is a grand national event. Many eminent men desire to see this greatest occurrence of their lives. Could not a passenger steamer under direction of Collector Draper be allowed to go?



BROOKLYN, March 30, 1865.
(Received 10. 40 p. m .)
Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

Have received no word. I am at a loss to know what arrangements to make and for what date. Can I take some of my family? A. A. Low, president of New York Chamber of Commerce, wishes to go with his wife. He is one of our first citizens, and early and late energetic for Union, with hand, heart, and purse.

Washington, City, March 30, 1865.


Rev. HENRY WARD BEECHER, Brooklyn, N. Y.:

In conference with General Anderson final arrangements for the celebration of Fort Sumter were concluded yesterday.

First. The Steamer Argo, will sail with General Anderson and yourself from New York on Friday, the 7th of April.

Second. Your family can accompany you.

Third. Tickets for you and for them will be forwarded by mail to-day.

Fourth. Mr. Low and wife can accompany you, and tickets for them will be sent with yours.

Fifth. I expect to join you at Fortress Monroe if it be possible to leave here.

Sixth. The arrangements and ceremonies will be directed by General Gillmore.

I will write you more at length.

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