Our daily fare. (Philadelphia, Pa.) 1864-1865, June 08, 1864, Image 7

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    §m Ipfli Jfro.
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
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 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
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
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.
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.