Our daily fare. (Philadelphia, Pa.) 1864-1865, June 08, 1864, Image 7
§m Ipfli Jfro. PHILADELPHIA, JUNE 8, 18Q4. A WORD FOR “OUR DAILY FARR.” This journal is intended to be a lasting me morial of the Great Fair held in Philadelphia in June, 1864, in aid of the operations of the Sanitary Commission—the noblest and grand est work of human benevolence the world has ever seen. In the course of time it may come to be consulted among the materials laid be fore the future annalist or historian. It should, therefore, be such a memorial as will tell its own story clearly and fully. To this end, it will be a principal object with those who have the paper in charge, to present copious reports of all events and proceedings relating to the Fair, and of its operations while the Fair is in progress. It is their purpose, also, to de scribe the origin, nature, and objects of the Sanitary Commission, and the effective meth ods by which they dispense the munificent bounty of the people of the United States to their soldiers in the field. To complete the history of our journal there will be a brief exposition of the character of the war that has compelled more than a million of our peaceful and thrifty citizens to take up arms, and that has given occasion for the inestimable services of the Sanitary Commission and other similar agencies of the patriotic beneficence of the people. It will add greatly to the enduring interest of this journal that the Fair, of which it is the exponent, is held during the progress of the great campaigns near Richmond and At lanta, which will probably decide the fate of the rebellion, and which, from the magnitude and activity of the operations, and the inces sant conflicts with the publio enemy, occasion the most frequent and urgent demands for just such aid as the projectors of the Great Fair are laboring to extend. HOW IT ALL COKES ABOUT. “ How shall we do for money for these wars?” So queried the Duke of York, in Shakspeare’s Richard 11., and questions of similar import have fallen from the lips of every Finanoe minister from the days of “ the bald first Caesar” to our own. But here on our soil, and in our day, that question is under going a process of solution that never entered into the dreams of the rulers of the old world. Instead of subsidies wrung from plundered subjects, the people pour their willing tribute into the national treasury to furnish “money for these wars,” and advancing beyond this cheerful discharge of their duties, come with Oub ID a. i Tj-x: Fake. liberal hands, dispensing munificent gratuities to add to the soldier’s comfort and preserve his health and life. This has been done dur ing the present war to the extent of tens of millions of dollars, contributed from private resources and administered by private hands. Such bounty, on suoh a scale of magnitude, and distributed with suoh effect as this has been by the United States Sanitary Commis sion, has never been paralleled, or even ap proached, in the history of the world. Why is all this ? Why is it that such an extraordinary manifestation of the loftiest pat riotism is called forth in our country, in our time, and during this war ? A record of the answer to this question deserves a conspicuous place in the first issue of the journal of the Great Fair. On the 20tli December, 1860, the United States were inhabited by a peaceful and happy people, in the enjoyment of unexampled pros perity, and blessed by a government illustrious for the wisdom and the freedom of its institu tions. No other nation had ever made suoh progress in so short a time. In three-fourths of a oentury it had sprung from a condition of colonial dependence to the rank of a first-class power. Thus, peaceful and prosperous at home, powerful and respected abroad, enjoy ing the freest and wisest government ever vouchsafed to man, this nation had come to be regarded by all other peoples as the bright examplar of what theirs ought to be. Politi cally, it was the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night for the oppressed of all the world. But even as there were rebellious spirits who “raised impious war in Heaven,” so there were traitors and rebels here to plot and attempt the destruction of the Great Republic. To conceive such a wrong to the hopes of humanity throughout Christendom, was a crime without a name; but men were found bad enough for both the thought and the deed, and, on the 20th of December, 1860, without cause or justification, their infamous work was begun. Such is the character of the rebellion which our citizen soldiers are fighting to suppress. It is that black treason to the Republio and to humanity and liberty everywhere that has brought forth our volunteers by the million. It is to sustain the armies battling against such causeless and wicked rebellion that the people have poured into the national treasury within three years thousands of millions of dol lars with such hearty readiness as to amaze the rulers of the old world. It is to give prompt aid to the wounded, to nurse the sick, to protect the health, r.nd preserve the lives of the soldiers in such a cause that the people have come, and are coming, with their munifi cent gratuitous contributions of stores and supplies, of nourishing food and medicines and money. It is the vast extent of these volun tary contributions that has compelled a resort to organized effort for their orderly concen tration, and for their effective distribution and application. Hence we have the Sanitary Commission for the organized and effective distribution and use of the people’s contribu tions, and hence we also arrive logically and historically at our Great Fair, which is an or ganized method for the orderly and economical concentration of popular liberality for the aid and comfort of the soldiers of the Union. OUR FAIR BUILDINGS. When Xerxes viewed, from a high tower near Abydos, the magnificent host which he had collected for the subjugation of Greece, his pride and triumph are said to have given way to tears when the reflection occurred to him that the brevity of human life was such that not one of this countless host would sur vive the lapse of one hundred years. Shall we confess that, on entering the Fair, and con templating the vastness of the buildings, the labor and ingenuity employed in their con struction, and the taste of their decorations, we felt for a moment, like Xerxes, a pang of regret that their duration was not destined to be eternal ? Such feelings, however, are, for tunately for human nature, but transitory, and were soon lost in admiration of the energy and taste which had, out of such temporary struc tures, produced such surprising effects. The grand archway, occupying the main avenue of the square, ninety feet high, sixty-four feet wide, and five hundred feet long, is really magnificent. In looking at it we were struck by the foroe of the theory which attributes the conception of the beautiful Gothic arch to the natural arch, formed by avenues of lofty trees, among which its inventors had been accustomed to worship. The branches which have been permitted to enter through the roof assist the imagination, and give the idea that art has merely filled up the form drawn by the hand of nature. The circular buildings, designed for the Horticultural and Restaurant Departments, are most agreeable contrasts to the predominating form adopted for the other buildings, and are well calculated both for accommodation and display. The different departments in which exhibition, rather than sale, was the principal object, as the Department of Arms and Tro phies, were particularly rich, and can scarcely fail to gratify the most fastidious. We do not pretend to embody in our remarks more than the effect produced upon us by a first visit to the Fair, before it was ready for exhibition. We trust to furnish our readers hereafter with acourate reports of all that is to be seen, and merely wish on this occasion to give expression to the universal sentiment of every spectator, that the location is admira ble and the design complete.