Uriah P Levy Defence 18571201

[p. 10] I was appointed a lieutenant….[my promotion] was not the gift of blind patronage or of irresponsible power, but the intelligent and discriminating award of my superiors…as the spontaneous and impartial tribute to what they, at least, thought ''extraordinary merit,'' and ''extraordinary services.''….
This distinction…increased the disfavor with which certain officers in the navy looked upon my promotion. And with the prejudice generated by the promotion itself, there was also mingled another of earlier date and greater intensity, and to which, as it plays a most [p. 11] active, though at times a concealed, part in my personal history, it is necessary I should now refer.
My parents were Israelites, and I was nurtured in the faith of my ancestors. In deciding to adhere to it, I have but exercised a right, guaranteed to me by the constitution of my native State, and of the
United States—a right given to all men by their Maker—a right more precious to each of us than life itself. But, while claiming and exercising this freedom of conscience, I have never failed to acknowledge and respect the like freedom in others. I might safely defy the citation of a single act, in the whole course of my official career, injurious to the religious rights of any person. Remembering always that the great mass of my fellow-citizens were Christians; profoundly grateful to the Christian founders of our republic, for their justice and liberality to my long persecuted race; I have earnestly endeavored, in all places and circumstances, to act up to the wise and tolerant spirit of our political institutions. I have therefore been careful to treat every Christian, and especially ever Christian under my command, with exemplary justice and ungrudging liberality….

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