From the 10 June 1903 issue of The New York Times.


Judge Speer, Addressing Emory College Students, Urges That Place Be Given Him in National Capitol

OXFORD, Ga., June 9.—Judge Emory Speer of Macon delivered to-day the annual commencement address at Emory College. His subject was “The Life and Character of Gen. Robert E. Lee,” and he gave a vivid and eloquent recital of the great soldier’s career, dwelling upon Lee’s sublime self-poise and patience both in victory and defeat.

In his peroration Judge Speer referred to the proposal by the State of Virginia to place a statue of Gen. Lee in Statuary Hall in the Capitol at Washington. In this connection he said:

Deny Lee a place by Washington! Ah, is it sure, if in the awful hour when the invading columns approached Virginia’s soil, the winds of the prophet had breathed upon the slain that they might live that caught from the wall at Mount Vernon by the reincarnated hand of the Father of his Country, the defensive blade of Washington would not have gleamed beside the sword of Lee. Repel then not, my country, the fervid love of thy sons who fought with Lee, and of the children of their loins. Their prowess thou hast seen on the hills of Santiago, on the waters of Luzon. In thy need the children of Grant have been and are brethren in arms of the kinsmen of Lee. Officers of his thou hast called to thy service in highest places in peace and war. His comrades and his kinsmen wear thy swords. With joy his sword, too, had leaped at thy command. The flowers of Spring with eaual hand thou wilt henceforth strew on graves of all thy dead. Why, then, repel his blameless name from thy immortals’ scroll? Then honor him and in they need on those who love him thou wilt not call in vain. And woe to thy foe in press of battle, when the soul of Lee shall fire their hearts and his bright sword shall point the charging columns of thy sons.