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Title: The Continental Monthly, Vol. 3 No 2,  February 1863 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy
Author: Various
Language: English
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VOL. III.--FEBRUARY, 1863.--No. II.


Our national finances are involved in extreme peril. Our public debt
exceeds $720,000,000, and is estimated by the Secretary of the Treasury,
on the 1st of July next, at $1,122,297,403, and on the 1st of July,
1864, at $1,744,685,586. When we reflect that this is nearly one half
the debt of England, and bearing almost double the rate of interest, it
is clear that we are approaching a fatal catastrophe. Nor is this the
most alarming symptom. Gold now commands a premium of thirty-two per
cent., as compared with legal tender treasury notes, and, with largely
augmented issues, must rise much higher, with a correspondent increase
of our debt and expenditures. Indeed, should the war continue, and there
be no other alternative than additional treasury notes, they will,
before the close of the next fiscal year, fail to command forty cents on
the dollar in gold, and our debt exceed several billions of dollars.
This would result from an immense redundancy and depreciation of
currency, and from the alarm created here and in Europe, as to the
maintenance of the Union, and the ultimate solvency of the Government.
Indeed, our enemies, at home and abroad, the rebels, and their allies in
the North and in Europe, already announce impending national bankruptcy
and repudiation, and there are many devoted patriots who fear such a

That the danger is imminent, is a truth which must not be disguised.
Here lies the great peril of the Government. It is not the rebel armies
that can ever overthrow the Union. It is the alarming increase of the
public debt and expenditures, and the still more appalling depreciation
of the national currency, that most imperil the great Republic.

And is the Union indeed to fall? Are we to be divided into separate
States or many confederacies, each warring against the other, the sport
of foreign oligarchs, the scorn of humanity, the betrayers of the
liberty of our country and of mankind? Can we yet save the Republic?
This is a fearful and momentous question, but it must be answered, and
answered NOW. Inaction is syncope. Delay is death. The life of the
Republic is ebbing fast, and the approaching Ides of March may toll the
funeral words, _It is too late_!

What then must be done to avert the dread catastrophe? Action, immediate
and energetic action, in the field and in Congress. Winter is the best
season for a campaign in the South. On--on--on with the banner of the
Republic, by land and sea, and with all the reinforcements, from the
Ohio and Potomac to the Gulf. On, also, with the necessary measures in
Congress to save our finances from ruin, arrest the depreciation of our
national currency, and restore the public credit. We are upon the verge
of ruin. We are hanging over the gulf of an irredeemable paper system,
and its spectral shade, repudiation, is seen dimly in the dark abyss.
The present Congress may save us; but what of the next? Would they, if
they could? Who can answer? Can they, if they would? No! no! It will
then be _too late_. Never did any representative assembly encounter so
fearful a responsibility as the present Congress. Each member must vote
as if the fate of the Union and of humanity depended upon his action. He
must rise above the passing clouds of passion and prejudice, of State,
local, or selfish interests, into the serene and holy atmosphere,
illumined by the light of truth, and warmed by the love of his country
and of mankind. His only inquiry must be, What will save the nation? The
allegiance to the Union is paramount, its maintenance 'the supreme law,'
the _lex legum_, of highest obligation, and he who, abandoning this
principle, follows in preference any real or supposed State policy, is a
secessionist in action, and a traitor to his country and mankind. Should
the catastrophe happen, no such paltry motives will save him from
disgrace and infamy; and, if he be snatched from oblivion, his only
epitaph will be: Here lies a destroyer of the American Union. He did not
destroy it by bullets, but by votes. He did not march against it with
armed battalions; but, a sentinel, he slept on the post of duty,
and--his country fell.

What, then, can Congress do? They can consider _at once_ this great
financial question, uninterrupted by any other measure, until there
shall have been action complete and decisive. But two months more remain
of the session. Not another day nor hour must be lost. All admit that
something must be done, and done quickly.

What then is the remedy for our depreciated and depreciating national
currency? The Secretary of the Treasury anticipated the disaster, and
proposed a remedy in 1861. I gave his bank plan then my earnest and
immediate support. Well would it have been for our country if it had
then been adopted, and gold would not now command a premium of
thirty-two per cent. After a year's experience and deliberation, the
Secretary reiterates his former recommendation, with words of solemn
import, and arguments of great force. His is the chief responsibility.
To him is mainly intrusted the custody of the public credit. His is now
the duty of saving us from national bankruptcy. At such a time, I would
differ from him on such a question, only on the clearest convictions,
and then only upon the condition that I had a better plan as a
substitute, and that mine could become a law now, and be carried now
into practical execution. If all this could not be done, I would support
the plan of the Secretary, as all admit that delay or inaction is death.
If my words be too bold or earnest, let them be attributed to my
profound conviction that the American Union is in extreme peril, and
that its downfall involves the final catastrophe of our country and of
our race. Let no man talk of a separation of the Union in any
contingency. Let none speak now of peace or compromise with armed
treason. Let none think of constructing separate nationalities out of
the broken and bleeding fragments of a dismembered Union. No; far better
that our wrecked and blasted earth should swing from its orbit,
disintegrate into its original atoms, and its place remain forever
vacant in the universe, than that we should survive, with such memories
of departed glory, and such a burning sense of unutterable infamy and
degradation. Fallen--fallen--fallen! from the highest pinnacle to the
lowest depth, to rise no more forever! What American would wish to live,
and encounter such a destiny? And why fallen? From a cause more damning
than our fate. Fallen, let the truth be told, as history would record,
because faction was stronger than patriotism, and the degenerate sons of
noble sires extinguished the world's last hope, by basely surrendering
the American Union to the foul coalition of slavery and treason. This
rebellion is the most stupendous crime in the annals of our race, and
its projectors and coadjutors, at home or abroad, individual or
dynastic, are doomed to immortal infamy. With its demoniac passions, its
satanic ambition, desecrating the remains of the slain, making goblets
of their skulls, and trinkets of their bones, this revolt is a
heliograph of Dahomey, and Devildom daguerreotyped more vividly than by
Danté or Milton.

The plan of the Secretary is clear, simple, comprehensive, practical,
and effective. It is the plan of an uniform circulation, furnished by
the Federal Government to banking associations organized by Congress,
securing prompt redemption by the deposit of the same amount of U.S. six
per cent stock in the Federal custody, the principal and interest of
this stock being payable in gold. This plan, with me, is a necessity,
and not a choice. It is the plan of the Secretary, and not mine, and is
therefore supported by me from no vanity of authorship. Nay, more, it
required me to overcome strong prejudices against any bank circulation,
and especially any connected in any way with the Government. It is,
however, a strong recommendation of the plan of the Secretary, that the
proposed connection of the banks with the Government is not political,
and attended with none of the formidable objections to the late Bank of
the United States. Ever since the bank suspension of 1837, I have been a
bullionist, and sustained that doctrine in the Senate of the United
States, and as Secretary of the Treasury. The act establishing the
independent treasury in 1846, was drawn by me, avowedly as a 'specie
receiving and _specie circulating_' institution, and to restrain
excessive issues by the banks; but it is impossible now to carry that
system into practical execution. The suspension of specie payment by the
banks and the Government, has been forced by the enormous expenditures
of the war, and the sub-treasury, which never was designed for the
custody or disbursement of paper, has been so far virtually superseded.
In acceding now, as in December, 1861, to the Secretary's plan of a bank
circulation, I must be understood as having changed my views in no
respect as to banks, but that I yield to the great emergency, which
renders the support of the war and of the Union paramount to any
question of coin or currency.

The national disbursements for the present and succeeding fiscal year,
as stated by the Secretary, together with his remarks on that subject,
supersede the necessity of any further argument in proof of the absolute
impossibility of specie payments now by the Government. We are compelled
to resort to paper, and the only question is as to the character and
extent of the issue. It is my opinion that we should limit this paper
currency, as far as practicable, that it may be as little depreciated
now as possible; so that when the rebellion is crushed, the banks and
the Government may resume specie payments at the earliest moment. I
favor the plan of the Secretary mainly because, by arresting
depreciation, it would furnish a currency approaching specie now more
nearly than can be accomplished in any other way, and because, when the
war is over, it provides the best means for a return, in the shortest
possible period, to specie payments. An irredeemable paper currency
dissolves contracts, violates good faith, and its history here and in
Europe is a record of financial ruin, bankruptcy, and repudiation, of
frauds, crimes, and demoralization, which no friend of his country or
race can desire to witness. The issue of treasury notes as a legal
tender was favored by me as a _necessity_ super-induced by the
rebellion, and as a substitute for the present bank issues. Such notes
would be depreciated much less when made a legal tender, and, to that
extent, our expenditures would be diminished, and specie payments could,
therefore, be resumed eventually at a much earlier period. Why, then, it
is asked, not continue and extend that system, rather than adopt the
plan recommended by the Secretary? Because, Congress refusing to
prohibit a bank circulation, such increased issues of treasury notes
would cause a further great depreciation of such notes, to that extent
augment our expenditures, and postpone, perhaps indefinitely, the
resumption of specie payments. Gold now commands a premium of thirty-two
per cent., payable in treasury notes; but, if such issues be increased
one half, they would fall to fifty per cent., and, if doubled, to at
least sixty per cent. below specie. At the last rate, if our yearly
expenditures, paid in paper, reached $700,000,000, this would command
but $280,000,000 in gold, thus subjecting the Government to a loss of
$420,000,000 per annum, and at thirty-two per cent. discount,
$224,000,000 per annum. These notes, it is true, bear no interest, which
at six per cent. on $280,000,000, would save $16,800,000 a year. But as
under the Secretary's plan (hereafter developed) the Government would
only pay an annual interest of four per cent. on this loan, the saving
would only be $11,200,000. Deduct this interest thus saved from the
$420,000,000 of increased annual expenditures, arising from such
depreciation of treasury notes, and the result is a net loss of
$408,800,000 per annum to the Government, from the use of such redundant
and depreciated currency. Surely, such a system would soon terminate in
bankruptcy and repudiation, repeating the history of French assignats
and Continental money.

Nor is it the Government only that suffers from such a disaster, but the
ruin extends to the people. There is no law more clearly established
than this: that the currency of a country bears a certain fixed
proportion to its wealth and business. If we expand the currency beyond
this proportion, we violate this law, and will surely suffer the
terrible penalties of this disobedience. This law is so certain and
invariable, that, if the expansion beyond this proportion should be even
in specie, the result would still be disastrous.

This was illustrated during the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, when
Spain, having opened the virgin mines of America, brought the precious
metals in countless millions within her limits, and restricted their
exportation by the most stringent penalties. And what was the
consequence? Mr. Prescott, of Boston, tells us in his great history,
that 'the streams of wealth, which flowed in from the silver quarries of
Zacatecas and Potosi were jealously locked up within the limits of the
Peninsula.' 'The golden tide, which, permitted a free vent, would have
fertilized the region through which it poured, now buried the land under
a deluge, which blighted every green and living thing. _Agriculture_,
_commerce_, MANUFACTURES, every branch of national industry and
improvement, languished and fell to decay; and the nation, like the
Phrygian monarch who turned all that he touched into gold, cursed by the
very consummation of its wishes, was poor in the midst of its
treasures.' Such was the effect of violating the law which regulates the
ratio of money to wealth; such the consequence of a superabundant
currency, even in specie. The result was that Spain, which had been the
most prosperous nation of Europe, and whose products and manufactures
had supplied the markets of the world, lost nearly all her exports, and
was forced to resort to the prohibitory system. The cost of living, of
working farms, of manufacturing goods, of making and sailing ships,
became so high in Spain, from her superabundant currency, that she was
unable to compete with any other nation, was reduced to poverty, and
never began to recover until 'Spain changed her system, encouraged the
exportation of the precious metals, and thus brought down her
superabundant currency and inflated prices, and thus enabled Spanish
industry to supply the markets of the Peninsula and of the world.'
_Then_, the distinguished historian tells us, 'the precious metals,
instead of flowing in so abundantly as to palsy the arm of industry,
only served to stimulate it, the foreign intercourse of the country was
every day more widely extended;' 'the flourishing condition of the
nation was seen in the wealth and population of its cities,' etc. It is
a redundant currency, even if gold or convertible into gold, that
produces these evils, although depreciation adds to the disaster.

What is the effect here of a redundant currency, is ascertained by
reference to our exports. By Treasury Tables 20 and 21, our foreign
imports consumed here in 1836-'7 rose to $168,233,675, being largely
more than double what they were in 1832 ($76,989,793), and nearly double
the consumption, _per capita_, which was $5.61 in 1832, and $10.93 in
1836. This was our great year of a redundant, although still a
convertible currency, when our imports consumed exceeded our exports of
domestic produce, $61,662,733; and so enhanced was the cost of living
and production here, that we actually imported breadstuffs that year of
the value of $5,271,576. (Table 1, Com. and Nav.) Our bank currency that
year was as follows: Circulation, $149,185,890; deposits, $127,397,185;
circulation and deposits, $276,583,075; loans, $525,115,702. (Treasury
Report, 1838, Doc. 79, tables K. K.) The legitimate result of this
expansion of loans and currency was the great bank suspension of May,
1837, and general bankruptcy throughout the country.

Now our bank circulation in 1860 was $207,102,477; deposits,
$253,802,129; circulation and deposits, $460,904,606; loans,
$691,495,580. (Table 34, Census of 1860.) Yet our population in 1860 was
more than double that of 1837, and our wealth (the true barometer,
marking the proper rise and fall of our currency) had much more than
quadrupled. (Census Table 35.) The proportion of the currency to wealth
in 1837 was more than double the ratio of 1860. It was not the tariff
that produced the suspension of 1837, for it was _much lower_ in 1860,
than at the date of the bank suspension of 1837.

By Treasury Table 24, our total exports abroad of domestic produce,
exclusive of specie, from the 30th of September, 1821, to 30th June,
1861, were $5,060,929,667; and, in the year ending the 30th June, 1860,
were $316,242,423. At the same rate of increase from 1860 to 1870, as
from 1850 to 1860, our domestic exports exclusive of specie in the
decade ending the 30th June, 1870, would have exceeded five billions of
dollars, had peace continued and the currency been no more redundant in
proportion to our wealth than in 1860. But with a redundant and
depreciated currency our exports must have been reduced at least one
fourth. What would be the effect on every branch of our industry, may be
learned by looking at Treasury Table 40, showing our domestic exports
for the year ending 30th June, 1861. These exports were, of the products
of our fisheries, $4,451,515; of the forest, $10,260,809; of
agriculture, exclusive of cotton, rice, and tobacco, $100,273,655, and
of our manufactures, $35,786,804. This was mainly from the loyal States.
Now if the foreign markets for our products are reduced only one fourth
by the effect of a redundant currency, inflating here the cost of
production and of living, the result would be most disastrous to our
industry. The reduction would be equal, as we have seen, to $125,000,000
per annum, and $1,250,000,000 in the decade. Our imports would be
reduced in the same proportion, and our revenue from customs in a
corresponding ratio. Supposing the average rate of duties of the present
tariff to be equal to 40 per cent. ad valorem, this would make a
difference in our revenue from customs of $500,000,000 in the decade,
and, including interest not compounded, $635,000,000. And here I deem it
a duty to say to the financial portion of our peace party, especially in
New York, that our redundant and depreciated currency, with our failure
to crush the rebellion, and a consequent dissolution of the Union, would
make repudiation inevitable. We are forced, then, by a due regard to our
material interests, as well as by the higher obligations of honor and
duty, to subdue the revolt and restore the supremacy of the Government
in every State. This we can and must do. It is due to our country and to
the world. It is due to the wounded and mutilated survivors of the
bloody conflict, and to our martyred dead, murdered by the foulest
treason, and in the accursed cause of slavery. No! all this blood and
treasure must not have been poured out in vain. It is a question mainly
of money and persistence. Our armies can and will conquer the rebellion,
if we can and will supply the sinews of war. Our success is much more a
financial than a military question. As regards the result, the Secretary
of the Treasury holds now the most important post in this contest: he is
the generalissimo; and as he is right on this question, and the fate of
the Union is involved, I deem it my duty to give him my earnest and
zealous support.

Ruinous as must be the effect of a redundant and depreciated currency
upon all industrial pursuits, the injustice to our gallant army and
navy, regulars and volunteers, would be attended with extreme peril.
Upon their courage and endurance we must rely for success. We have
pledged to our brave troops, who are wounded or dying by thousands that
the Union may live, such pay as to enable them while fighting our
battles to make allotments of portions of their money for the support of
their families during their absence. We have promised pensions also.
These are all solemn pledges on the part of our Government, and our
faith is violated if this pay or these pensions are reduced. But there
is no difference between a law directly reducing this pay and these
pensions, and the adoption by Congress of the policy of a redundant and
depreciated currency which will produce the same result. Every vote then
in Congress for such a policy, is a vote to reduce the pay and pensions
for our troops, and to annihilate the allotments made by them for the
support of their families. What effect such a policy must have on our
troops and the maintenance of the Union is but too palpable. It is
disbandment and dissolution. Every such vote is given also to reduce the
value of the wages of labor, and for increased taxation, to the extent,
as we have seen, of $408,800,000 per annum. It is a vote also to reduce
our exports and revenue from customs, to paralyze our industry; and
finally, in its ultimate results, it is a vote against the war, for
repudiation and disunion, and hence every disunionist will oppose the
plan of the Secretary.

To what extent this redundancy and depreciation will go, by enlarged
issues of legal tender treasury notes, we may learn from the fact that
the banks substitute them for coin for the redemption of their paper.
Now, just in proportion as the issue of treasury notes becomes redundant
and depreciated, will the bank circulation, redeemable in such notes,
augment and depreciate also. This is the law of bank circulation as now
forced upon us by Congress. It is the law of redundancy and
depreciation. If this policy is adopted by Congress, an enlarged issue
made of treasury notes, and the plan of the Secretary discarded, our
bank and treasury note circulation, with the war continued, will very
largely exceed one billion of dollars before the close of the next
fiscal year, and both will be depreciated much more than sixty per cent.
Thus, if we should enlarge our issues of legal demand treasury notes to
$500,000,000, and these be made the basis of bank issues, in the ratio
of three to one, our total paper circulation would be $2,000,000,000,
such treasury notes inflating the bank issues, and both depreciating
together. And yet this is the currency in which it is proposed to
conduct the war and the business of the country. The banks alone, by
excessive loans and issues, would grow rich apparently, on the ruin of
their country. But there would be a terrible retribution. The result
would be general insolvency and repudiation, _the debts due the banks
would become worthless_, and they be involved in the general ruin. It is
then the interest of the banks to sustain the Government and the
Secretary, and to transfer their capital to the new associations. This
is especially the case with the New York banks, which, under a provision
of their State constitution, HAVE NO LEGAL EXISTENCE. When repudiation
and bankruptcy become general, the cry, like that of a routed army in a
panic flight, would be raised, _Sauve qui peut_; we may have again an
old and a new court party, especially under our miserable system of an
elective judiciary; and the banks be crushed by wicked legal devices, as
they were in the West and Southwest in 1824 and 1838.

Referring to bank issues, the Secretary says, in his last report: 'It
was only when the United States notes, having been made a legal tender,
were diverted from their legitimate use as a currency, and made the
basis of bank circulation, that the great increase of the latter began.'
At the present depreciation of these treasury notes, it is better for
the banks, by one third, to redeem their circulation in these notes,
rather than in specie; and they need keep only one dollar of treasury
notes for three of bank circulation. This is the policy forced upon the
banks by Congress. But the more redundant and depreciated this currency
becomes, the easier will it be for the banks to provide the basis of
redemption, and expand their circulation in the ratio, like that of
specie, of three dollars of bank currency for each dollar of treasury
notes held by them. Thus it is that the enlarged issue of treasury notes
necessarily increases the bank circulation, in the ratio of three to
one, and thus also, that the circulation of bank and treasury notes
becomes redundant and depreciated. Under such a policy, every bank then,
however loyal its stockholders or officers, becomes a citadel, whose
artillery bears with more fearful effect upon the Government than all
the armies of the rebellion. This will soon become obvious, and the
odium will rest upon the banks, their officers and stockholders. But the
real responsibility will be with Congress, who, by such a system will
have arrayed the banks in necessary and inevitable hostility to the
Government. Such, we all know, is not the intention of Congress; but as
this result will necessarily flow from their measures, upon them, in the
end, will fall the terrible responsibility of the disaster. It is this
appalling condition of our finances that gives the rebellion its only
hope of success, and invites foreign intervention. But if Congress will
adopt the policy of the Secretary, they will render certain the triumph
of the Union, and the rebels, from despair and exhaustion, must soon
abandon the contest.

We have seen how dreadful is the disaster which the banks would bring on
the country by pursuing the present system, and how terrible the odium
to which they would be subjected. But now let us look at the result, if
the plan of the Secretary is adopted. The new banks would become fiscal
agents of the Government. Their circulation would be uniform, furnished
by the Government, and based on U. S. stocks, the principal and interest
of which would be payable in gold. The interest of labor and capital, of
the banks, the Government, and the people, would for the first time
become inseparably united and consolidated. This is a grand result, and
fraught with momentous consequences to the country. Every citizen,
whether a stockholder of the banks or not, would have a direct and
incalculable interest in their success and prosperity. They, the people,
would have this interest, not merely as holding the notes of the banks,
which would become our currency, but because the banks would hold the
stock of the Government, would have loaned it in this way the money to
suppress the rebellion, and thus have saved us from a redundant and
depreciated currency, from inevitable bankruptcy and repudiation, and
have prevented the overthrow of the Union. Each bank would then become a
citadel over which should float the flag of the Union, for each bank
would then become a powerful auxiliary for the support of the Government
and the overthrow of the rebellion.

The bill divorcing the banks and the Government was drawn by me, as
Secretary of the Treasury, in 1846, to enlarge the circulation of
specie, and restrain excessive issues of bank paper. I go for the
reunion now, as proposed by the Secretary, to enable the Government to
effect loans upon their stock, to prevent a redundant and depreciated
paper currency, with a correspondent increase of expenditures, and to
provide the means, when the war is over, to resume specie payment at the
earliest practicable period. I was for restraining excessive paper
issues then, and so am I now, as far as possible. I carried into full
effect then the divorce of the Government and the banks, against a
terrible opposition from them and the great Whig party. I made the
divorce complete, _a vinculo matrimonii_: so now I would make the union
complete, so far as proposed by the Secretary, for the interest of the
banks and the Government would be united, and just as you strengthened
the banks and increased their capital and profits, would you fund more
and more treasury notes, and save us from the ruin of a redundant and
depreciated currency.

The Secretary proposes to make these banks depositories of treasury
notes, received by the Government for all dues except customs. This is
well; for to use the sub-treasury to receive and circulate treasury
notes, is against the object for which it was created. Such deposits
should be secured by U. S. stocks with the Government, and thus largely
increase the demand for this stock. During nearly my first two years as
Secretary of the Treasury, the public moneys were deposited by me in the
State banks, secured by United States and State stocks, and there was no
loss. Nor, indeed, was there any loss or default by any officer, agent,
or employé of the Treasury Department during my entire term of four
years, notwithstanding the large loans and war expenditures.

Disbursing officers should also deposit with the banks, and pay as
formerly by checks on them, with the same guarantee by them of U. S.
stocks. How far, and to what extent, and under what special provisions
the gold received for customs might be deposited with these banks, may
be the subject of discussion hereafter.

If this system were adopted in its entirety, the process of absorbing
treasury notes would commence at once, and also a correspondent rise in
their market value. The system of loans and funding saved England from
bankruptcy during her long wars with France, and we must resort to
similar expedients. But as loans, in the usual way, except at ruinous
discounts, for any large amounts, are impracticable, we are left to the
alternative of the Secretary's system, or bankruptcy, repudiation, and

I have another suggestion to make as regards these notes furnished by
the Government to the banks, secured by U. S. stocks. These notes are
guaranteed not only by the stock of the Government, but, in addition, by
the whole capital and property, real and personal, of the banks, and a
prior lien on the whole to the Government, to secure the payment of
these notes. These notes are receivable by the Government for all dues
except customs. These notes are a national currency, furnished by the
nation and secured by its stock.

These notes then, as in England, should be a legal tender in payment of
all debts, except by the banks. As the banks can redeem these issues in
legal tender treasury notes, these issues of the new banks ought to be a
legal tender also, except by the banks.

There is another reason why this currency should be made a legal tender.
Our two last suspensions of specie payments by the banks, viz., in 1857
and in 1860, were based upon _panics_, yet they had the same disastrous
effect, for the time, as if arising from short crops, overtrading, or a
currency greatly redundant. Such panic convulsions are caused mainly by
the call for the redemption of bank notes in specie, based on the fear
of suspension and depreciation. But if such notes, as in European
government banks, were a legal tender, except by the banks, such panics
would be far less frequent here, and less injurious. The present system,
as compared with that of Europe, discriminates most unjustly against our
country. As a general rule, the American creditor cannot demand gold
from the foreign debtor, but such foreign or domestic creditor could
always demand gold from the American debtor. This discrimination has
produced here the most disastrous consequences, and, independent of the
present condition of the country, our whole banking system requires
radical reform. We have had eight _general_ bank suspensions under our
present bank system, many of them continuing for years, and producing
ruin and desolation. Under our present system, to talk, as a general
rule, of well-regulated banks, is to talk of a well-regulated famine or
pestilence, or of a well-regulated earthquake or tornado. And even the
few banks that are claimed to be well managed, have no appreciable
effect on the system. It is the system that knows no uniformity or
security, and never can have, as now organized. That a system so
perilous and explosive, should have even partially succeeded is proof
only of the intelligence and integrity, generally, of the bank officers
and directors, but no recommendation of the system itself.

The want of uniformity as to commercial regulations, led to the adoption
of our Federal Constitution; and yet we have no uniformity as to money,
which represents commerce and effects its interchanges. In this respect,
we are still suffering all the evils of the old confederacy, and have
thereby so weakened the Government as to have invited this rebellion.
Indeed, the State banks in the revolted States were the main auxiliaries
of treason and secession, and supplied, to a vast extent, the sinews of
war. By Census Table 34, there were in 1860, 1,642 banks, incorporated
by thirty-four States, with no uniformity of organization, issues, or
security. Thus is it that the States have usurped the power to regulate
commerce and currency, and to emit bills of credit, in defiance of the
prohibition of the Federal Constitution. The Egyptians abandoned their
folly after seven plagues; but we have had eight bank convulsions, and
yet we adhere to the wretched system.

I believe it was slavery caused the rebellion, but, in the absence of
powerful aid from the Southern banks, the revolted States could never
have maintained so prolonged a contest. Organized as now proposed, these
new banks, and all who held their notes, must have sustained the
Government. Nations expend millions yearly in erecting forts and
maintaining, even in peace, large armies and navies to preserve the
Government. But necessary as these may be, they would not be more
important than the system now proposed as a security for the
preservation of the Government.

My last suggestion is, that as regards all such United States loans, as
during the war shall become the basis of this system, the time of
payment shall be made twenty years instead of five, so as, with the
modifications above proposed, to insure the coöperation of the banks,
and the success of the system. As this plan is deemed essential to save
our finances, to suppress the rebellion, and maintain the Union, why
incur any hazard on such a question as this? In all our wars, including
the present, we have issued bonds running twenty years to maturity, and
the bonds, redeemable in 1881, are scarcely at par. Why, then, issue a
stock of less value, which may fail to accomplish the great object, when
a better security would certainly succeed? I fully agree in the opinion
expressed by the Secretary, against 'a fixed interest of six per cent.
on a great debt, for twenty years,' if it can be avoided; but I also
concur in that portion of his report in which he says: 'No very early
day will probably witness the reduction of the public debt to the amount
required as a basis for secured circulation.' To that extent, then,
would I enlarge the time for the maturity of the bonds. Surely, if this
be necessary to secure the coöperation of the banks, and the capital of
the country, there should be no hesitation. Even if the system, based
only on the bonds of short date, should ultimately succeed, the loss, in
the interim, from a redundant and depreciated currency, would far exceed
any benefit derived from the substitution of five-twenties for twenty
year bonds. By Census Table 35, our wealth in 1850, was $7,135,780,228,
and in 1860, $16,159,616,068, the ratio of increase during the decade
being 126.45 per cent.; at which rate, our wealth in 1870 would be
$36,583,450,585, and in 1880, $82,843,222,849. Surely, then, at these
periods, it would be much easier to liquidate this debt than in 1867.
But, were it otherwise, the immediate gain from decreased expenditures,
arising from funding more rapidly our treasury notes, thus rendering our
currency less redundant and depreciated, with the revival of the public
credit, and its immediate happy influence, North and South, here and in
Europe, would far more than compensate for any contingent advantage
arising from short loans. Our twenty years' loan is now barely at par,
and the five-twenties below par. The difficulty of inducing bank and
other capital to invest hundreds of millions of dollars under the new
system is very great. Is it wise to commence the effort, confined to our
weakest securities, now below par? Besides, considering the old and new
debts, and constantly increasing responsibilities, is there any prospect
that we will have liquidated all these before the end of five years, and
the five-twenty loan also? Surely, upon a benefit so doubtful, and a
contingency so improbable, we ought not to risk the fate of a measure on
which depends the safety of the Union. But if we could pay off the
five-twenty loan held by the new banks, is it prudent to assume that so
many hundred millions of capital will be withdrawn from the present
banks and other business for investment in the new banks, which may
cease at the end of five years by payment of the bonds? The change from
the old to the new banks may involve some loss at first, but, if the
system may be arrested at the end of five years, just when profits might
be realizing, the plan could scarcely succeed. When the Secretary first
proposed this system in December, 1861, he probably would have succeeded
with the five-twenties, in the condition at that date of the public
credit. But the disastrous fall of our securities since that date, seems
now to require bonds of a higher value.

I would then provide a twenty years loan, for all that may be made the
basis of the new bank circulation. But it is not a six, but only a four
per cent. twenty years' loan that is proposed, by deducting one per
cent. semi-annually from the interest of the bonds made the basis of
this bank circulation. This deduction would only be a fair equivalent
for the expenses incurred by the Government in furnishing the
circulation, for the release of taxes, for the deposit of public moneys
with these banks, for making their notes a legal tender, and receiving
them for all dues except customs. The tax on all other bank circulation
should be one and a half per cent. semi-annually, secured by adequate

If, under this system, during this stupendous rebellion, involving the
existence of the Government, with armies and expenditures unexampled in
history, the Secretary (as, with the aid of Congress and the banks, I
believe he can) should secure us a sound and uniform currency, and
negotiate vast loans, running twenty years, at par, the Government
paying only four per cent. interest per annum, he will have accomplished
a financial miracle, and deserved a fame nearest to that of the first
and greatest of his predecessors, the peerless Hamilton.

The bill organizing the new system, presented in Congress by Mr. Hooper
last summer, is drawn with great ability, and it is much to be deplored,
that (with some amendments) it had not then become a law, when it could
have been much more easily put in operation, and would have saved
hundreds of millions of dollars to the Government.

But the fifty-fifth section of that bill provides that all the banks
organized under it are to become 'depositaries of the public moneys,'
excepting those in 'the city of Washington.' Why this discrimination? If
there be any place where banks, organized under a national charter,
issuing a national currency, and receiving national deposits, should be
encouraged, it is here. With no discrimination against them, such banks
would be established here with considerable capital. And why not? It
cannot be intended to discourage the establishment of such banks here,
and thus defeat, to that extent, the success of the system. It is here,
if anywhere, that such banks should receive the public deposits, where
they could be constantly secured from day to day under the immediate
supervision of the Government. Besides, the only effect of such a
discrimination would be to drive such banks to Georgetown, Alexandria,
or some other speculative site outside the city or District. This city
has just been consecrated to freedom by Congress, and it is hoped that,
in commencing its new career, no discrimination will be made against it.
Indeed, I think it would be wise, in order to insure the success here of
the new system, to allow the district banks organized under this law to
receive the same rate of interest as is permitted in New York.

I have contended, during the last fourth of a century, that all State
bank currency is unconstitutional. This rebellion will demonstrate the
truth of that proposition, and the question ultimately be so decided by
the Supreme Court of the United States. This, it is true, might require
some of those Judges, if then living, to change their opinion on some
points; but this has been done before, and even on constitutional
questions; and State banks will fall before judicial action, as well as
nullification, State allegiance, secession, and the whole brood of
kindred heresies.

A republic which cannot regulate its currency, or which leaves that
power with thirty-four separate States, each legislating at its pleasure
and without uniformity, abandons an essential national authority, and
this abdication has furnished one of the main supports of the rebellion.
With nothing but a national currency, the revolted States never could
have successfully inaugurated this war, and we must deprive them in all
time to come of this terrible ally of treason. To permit the States to
provide the circulating medium, the money of the country, is to enable
them to furnish the sinews of war, and clothe them with a power to
overthrow the Government.

With only such a national currency as is now proposed, issued by the
Government to these banks, organized by Congress, and based on the
deposit in the Federal treasury of United States stock, the rebellion
would have been impossible. Our Government was so mild and benignant,
that we deemed it exempt from the assault of traitors; but this revolt
has dissipated this delusion, and warned us to provide all the
safeguards indicated by experience as necessary to maintain the Union.
Among the most important is the resumption by the Government of the
great sovereign function of regulating the currency and giving to it
uniformity and nationality. Such was clearly the intention of the
Constitution. The Government has, by the Constitution, the _exclusive_
power 'to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several
States.' But commerce is _regulated_ mainly by money, and by it all
interstate and international exchanges of products are made. If the
currency is redundant, prices rise, exports are diminished; and the
reverse follows with a contracted circulation. But banks inflate or
restrict the currency at their pleasure, and thus control prices,
commerce, exports, imports, and revenue. But they also destroy or
depreciate the money of the Government, and deprive it of a vital power.
Thus, the nation issues treasury notes, and makes them a legal tender:
the banks immediately make such notes the basis of bank issues, in the
ratio of three to one, and the whole currency necessarily becomes
redundant and depreciated; and thus this essential power of the
Government is controlled by the States, and, for all practical purposes,

Chief Justice Marshall, in delivering the unanimous opinion of the
Supreme Court of the United States (4 Wheaton 193), said: 'Wherever the
terms in which a power is granted to Congress, or the nature of the
power require that it should be exercised exclusively by Congress, the
subject is as completely taken from the State Legislatures as if they
had been forbidden to act on it.' Now, it has been decided by the
Supreme Court of the United States (9 Wheaton 1) that, this power to
_regulate commerce_ extends to the _land_, as well as to the _water_,
that it includes _intercourse and navigation_, and vessels, as vehicles
of commerce, that it includes an _embargo_ which is prohibitory, that
this power is 'EXCLUSIVELY vested in Congress,' and '_no part of it can
be exercised by a State_.' Now, the question, whether the notes of a
State bank, issued on the authority of a State, and designed to
circulate as money, conflicts with _this clause_ of the Constitution,
has _never been decided by the Supreme Court of the United States_. This
is a new and momentous question, never yet adjudicated by the Supreme
Court; but how they would now decide that point, with the light thrown
upon it by this rebellion, I cannot doubt.

The Government also has the sole power to lay and collect _duties_,
which 'shall be uniform throughout the United States,' and the States
are prohibited from exercising this authority. But this power also is in
fact controlled by the banks, and the revenue from imports increased or
diminished, according to their action. Indeed, they can modify or repeal
tariffs at their pleasure, for, they have only to inflate the
circulation, and prices rise here to the extent of the duties, and the
tariff becomes inoperative. Of all the branches of our industry, the
manufacturing is injured most by a redundant currency, limiting our
fabrics to a partial supply at home, and driving them from the foreign
market. Give us a sound, stable, uniform currency, sufficient but not
redundant, and our skilled, educated, and intelligent labor will, in
time, defy all competition. But the banks, as now conducted, are the
great enemies of American industry.

The Government has also the _sole_ power 'to coin money, regulate the
value thereof,' etc. But the banks now regulate its value by controlling
prices, by substituting their money for coin, and by expelling it from
the country at their pleasure. Recollect, these powers over commerce and
money are _exclusive_, not concurrent, so adjudicated, and the
Constitution, in delegating them exclusively to the Government, withheld
them altogether from the States. The conceded fact that these powers are
_exclusive_, proves that the States cannot, by any instrumentality,
directly or indirectly, control their exercise. An exclusive authority
necessarily forbids any control or interference. But there are express
prohibitions in the Constitution as well as grants. That instrument
declares that 'no _State_ shall emit _bills of credit_.' The State
itself cannot emit circulating paper: how then can it authorize this to
be done by a State corporation, which is the mere creature of a State
law? The State cannot authorize its _Governor_ to issue such paper: how
then can it direct a _cashier_, deriving all his power only from a State
law, to do the same thing? _Qui facit per alium, facit per se_, and this
fundamental maxim of law and reason is violated when a State does
through any instrumentality, created by it, what the State cannot do

It is true that a majority of the Supreme Court of the United States, in
11 Peters 257, did decide that the Bank of the Commonwealth of Kentucky
did not violate that clause of the Constitution forbidding States to
'emit bills of credit,' but Justice Story, in his dissenting opinion,
said: 'When this cause was formerly argued before this court, a majority
of the judges who then heard it were decidedly of opinion that the act
of Kentucky establishing this bank was unconstitutional and void, as
amounting to an authority to emit bills of credit, for and on behalf of
the State, within the prohibition of the Constitution of the United
States. In principle, it was thought to be decided by the case of Craig
_v._ the State of Missouri (4 Peters 410). Among that majority was the
late Chief Justice Marshall.' This decision, then, in the case of the
Bank of Kentucky, is overthrown, _as an authority_, by the fact that it
was against the decision of the Supreme Court in a former case, and
against the opinion of a majority of the court in that very case before
the death of Chief Justice Marshall. In delivering the opinion of the
court in the Missouri case (4 Peters 410), Chief Justice Marshall
defined what is that _bill of credit_ which a _State cannot emit_. He
says: 'If the prohibition means anything, if the words are not empty
sounds, it must comprehend the emission of _any paper medium_ by a State
Government, for the purpose of _common circulation_.' And he also says:
'Bills of credit signify a _paper medium_, intended to _circulate_
between individuals, and between Government and individuals, for the
ordinary purposes of society.' That the notes of the Bank of Kentucky
came within this definition and decision, is clearly stated by Justice
Story. In that case also it was expressly decided, that if the issues be
unconstitutional, _the notes given for the loan of them_ ARE VOID. It is
said, however, that the bills are issued by a bank, not by the State;
but the bank is created by the State, and authorized by the State to
issue these notes, to circulate as money. In the language of Chief
Justice Marshall, in this case, 'And can this make any real difference?
Is the proposition to be maintained that the Constitution meant to
prohibit names and not things?' On this subject, Justice Story says:
'That a State may rightfully evade the prohibitions of the Constitution
by acting through the _instrumentality of agents_ in the evasion,
instead of acting in its _own direct name_, is a doctrine to which I can
never subscribe,' etc. I am conscious that Justice Story also said in
the same case, _arguendo_: 'the States may create banks as well as other
corporations, upon _private capital_; and, SO FAR AS THIS PROHIBITION IS
CONCERNED, may rightfully authorize them to issue bank bills or notes as
currency, subject always to the _control of Congress_, whose powers
extend to the _entire regulation of the currency of the country_.' It
will be observed, that Justice Story gives no opinion as to whether the
issues of such banks are constitutional, whether they conflict or not
with the power of Congress to regulate coin or commerce. He only says
(and the limitation is most significant), they do not violate the
prohibition as to bills of credit (from which I dissent); but he does
declare that to Congress belongs '_the entire regulation of the
currency_.' Now this power must rest on the authority of Congress to
regulate coin and commerce. But these powers, we have seen, were not
concurrent, but _exclusive_; and, in the language of Chief Justice
Marshall, in delivering the unanimous opinion of the Supreme Court in
the case before quoted from 4 Wheaton 193, as to any such power that
'should be exercised _exclusively_ by Congress, the subject is as
_completely_ taken from the State Legislature as if they had been
_forbidden to act on it_.' All then who agree that Congress has 'the
entire regulation of the currency,' must admit that all banks of issue
incorporated by States are unconstitutional, not because such issues are
bills of credit, but because they violate the exclusive authority of
Congress to regulate commerce, coin, and its value. I repeat, that while
this question has never been adjudicated by the Supreme Court, yet, if
their decision in fourth and ninth Wheaton is maintained, such bank
issues are clearly unconstitutional. It is clear, also, whatever may be
the case of bank issues, based only 'upon private capital,' or, in the
language of Judge Story, 'if the corporate stock, and that only by the
charter, is made liable for the debts of the bank,' yet, if the bank
issues are based on the 'funds' or 'credit' of the State, such issues do
violate the prohibition against bills of credit. Such bank issues, then,
as are furnished and countersigned by State officers, acting under State
laws, and are secured by the deposit with the State of its own stock,
are most clearly unconstitutional.

In No. 44 (by Hamilton) of the _Federalist_, the great contemporaneous
exposition of the Constitution (prepared by Hamilton, Madison, and Chief
Justice Jay of the Supreme Court of the United States), it is said: 'The
same reasons which show the necessity of denying to the States the power
of regulating coin, prove with equal force that they ought not to be at
liberty to substitute a paper medium instead of coin.' Such was the
opinion of the two great founders of the Constitution (Hamilton and
Madison), and its first judicial expositor, the eminent Chief Justice
Jay. Justice Story quotes and approves this remarkable passage, and says
'that the prohibition was aimed at a _paper medium_ which was intended
to _circulate as money_, and to that alone.'

In his message of December 3, 1816, President Madison, referring
expressly to a _bank_ and _paper_ medium, said: 'It is essential that
the nation should possess a currency of equal value, credit, and use,
wherever it may circulate. The Constitution has entrusted Congress
_exclusively_ with the power of _creating_ and _regulating_ a currency
of that description.'

This rebellion proves the awful danger of State violations of the
Federal Constitution. The rebellion is the child of State usurpation,
State supremacy, State allegiance, and State secession. And now the
Government is paralyzed financially, in its efforts to suppress the
rebellion, by a question as to State banks, depreciating the currency,
and State banks based on State stocks. The Government wishes a currency,
not redundant, and to borrow money to save the Union. But one State
says, we have placed all our surplus money in State banks, and another
State (as in the case of New York) says, we have based the circulation
of these banks, mainly on our own State bonds, and you must do nothing
which will injuriously affect their value. It is true the Union is in
danger, but are not the credit of State banks and State bonds of higher
value than the Union? The State first, the Union afterwards. Our
paramount duty is to our State, and that to the Union is subordinate.
Why, this is the very language of rebellion--the echo of South Carolina
treason. But it is not the language of the Constitution, which declares
that "This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall
be made in pursuance thereof, and all treaties made, or which shall be
made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law
of the land: and the judges in every State shall be bound thereby,
anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary

The _supremacy_ then, is with the Federal Constitution and laws;
otherwise there could be no uniformity or nationality. And does New York
suppose that she can tear down the temple of the Union, and that the
principal pillar which supported the arch will stand firm and erect? No!
if the Union falls, New York will only be the most conspicuous among the
broken columns.

But New York knows that the path of interest is that of honor and of
duty. It is the Union only that has made her great. It is the
concentration by the Union of interstate and international commerce in
her great city, that was consummating its imperial destiny. Before the
Union of 1778 and 1787, New York city was the village of Manhattan:
destroy the Union, and she will again become little more than the
village of Manhattan. The trident of the ocean, the sceptre of the
world's commerce would fall from her grasp, and London be left without a
rival. Deprive the Government of the power to regulate commerce, and the
fall of New York will be as rapid as her rise. Each State then, as
before the Constitution, would control its own commerce, and the
railroads and canals of New York would cease to be the vehicles of the
trade of the nation and of the world. Each State, as under the old
Confederacy, would force commerce into her own ports by prohibitory or
discriminating statutes. No, when New York takes from the Union the
exclusive control of commerce, she commits suicide. One uniform
regulation of commerce, and one uniform currency, are more essential to
the prosperity of New York than to that of any other State. New York
represents interstate and international commerce. There are concentrated
our imports and exports, and there three fourths of our revenue is
collected. There, if the Union endures, must be the centre of the
commerce of the nation and of the world. If the rebellion succeeds, the
separation of the East and West is just as certain as that of the North
and South. Discord would reign supreme, and States and parts of States
become petty sovereignties, mere pawns, to be moved on the political
chess board by the kings and queens of Europe.

As New York has derived the greatest benefits from the Union, so would
she suffer most from its fall. It is New York to whom the Union
transferred the command of her own commerce, and ultimately that of the
world. It is New York to which England looks as the future successful
rival of London, and it is New York at whom England chiefly aims the
blow in desiring to overthrow the Union. The interest of New York in the
price of bank or State stock is insignificant compared with her still
greater stake in the success of the Union. Indeed, if the Union should
fall, State and bank stock and all property will be of little value, and
bank debts will generally become worthless.

But if the war continues, we have seen that a redundant and depreciated
currency would increase our expenditures $408,800,000 per annum. This
would require a like addition to our annual tax, of which the share of
New York would be over $50,000,000, and the share of every other State
in like proportion to its population.

By Treasury Table 35, the stocks, State and Federal, held by the New
York banks in 1860, was $29,605,318, the circulation $28,239,950, and
the capital $111,821,957. Thus it appears that the increased tax to be
paid _annually_ by New York, as the consequence of a redundant and
depreciated currency, would be nearly double her whole bank circulation,
and that thirteen months of this increased tax to be paid by the nation,
would largely exceed the whole capital of all the banks of the United
States in 1860. (Census Table 35.) These are the frightful results of an
irredeemable, redundant, and depreciated currency.

Such a course, on the part of a Government, which must make large
purchases, resembles that of an individual who wishes to buy largely on
his own credit and paper, but depreciates it so much as to compel him to
pay quadruple prices, the result being bankruptcy and repudiation.

There is great hope in the fact that New York takes no contracted view
of this great question. She knows that her imperial destiny is
identified with the fate of the Union. Realizing this great truth, she
has more troops in the field than any other State, she has expended more
money and more blood than any other State to suppress this rebellion,
and she will never array State stocks or State banks in hostility to the
safety of the Union.

And what of Pennsylvania, that glorious old Commonwealth, so many of
whose noble sons, cut off mostly in the morning of life, now fill graves
prepared by treason? Is she to become a border State, and her southern
boundary the line of blood, marked by frowning forts, by bristling
bayonets, by the tramp of contending armies, engaged in the carnival of
slaughter, and revelry of death? Is New England to be re-colonized, and
the British flag again to float over the chosen domain of freedom? What
of the small States, deprived of the secured equality and protective
guarantees of the Constitution, to be surely crushed by more powerful
communities? What of the West? Is it to be cut off from the seaboard,
and rendered tributary to the maritime power? What of the States of the
Pacific? Are they to lose the great imperial railways destined, under
the Union, to connect them with the valley of the Mississippi and the
Atlantic? But alas! why look at any of the bleeding and mutilated
fragments, when all will be involved in a common ruin?

May a gracious Providence give us all, the wisdom to discern what is
best for our beloved country, in this her day of fearful trial, and the
courage and patriotism to adopt whatever course is best calculated to
save us from impending ruin!


The great battle of the Antietam had been fought, and a veteran army was
gathered around Harper's Ferry recruiting for fresh campaigns. Here was
a chance to see a battle field and warriors to be celebrated for all
time. From childhood up we have been taught history; and all history,
except some few dry constitutional treatises, has been accounts of great
commanders, of the marches and retreats of bronzed soldiers, of empires
won by the sword, of dynasties established by conquests. Our hymn book,
our clergymen, and our Bible have exhorted us to be soldiers of the
cross, to buckle on our armor, and to fight the good fight, even when
turning the other cheek when smitten on the one. Now this opportunity to
see actual history, a battle field, and veteran troops, and great
leaders whose names are to be household words, could not be resisted;
so, taking a couple of blankets apiece, and a few clothes, and money
wherewith to pay our way, we started by rail for Baltimore, and thence
for the army.

Around Baltimore were several regiments. Those that we visited were of
the recent levies, and were improving fast in discipline and drill. They
were placed in strong positions to prevent a rebel attack from the west,
and to command the city. The stars and stripes floated over houses in
all parts of the town. We met a little company of boys seven miles out
playing soldier, with the star-spangled banner, a cheering sign of the
loyalty of the place.

At Baltimore my friend and I took seats in the car for Harper's Ferry.
The train was crowded with a most miscellaneous set of passengers,
officers of all grades, from general with stars to second lieutenant
with plain bands, common soldiers, sutlers, Jews, and country people.
Some of the Jews, after a time, became the most noisy part of the crowd,
and belied their proverbial reputation for shrewdness by imbibing from
bottles, which they circulated very freely, becoming very talkative, and
most decidedly drunk. The most interesting companion we met was a member
of the Maryland House of Representatives, a very sensible man, and of
course a strong Unionist. He did not approve of the President's
emancipation proclamation; thought it would alienate Union men in the
Border States, and made other objections to it. He informed us that his
negroes were of no profit to him; that the proclamation had made them
believe they would all be free; that they did pretty much what they
chose; and that Maryland would have to accede to the President's advice
to the Union Border States to emancipate their slaves and receive
compensation for so doing.

The railroad, after leaving the Relay House, runs along the Patapsco
river, amid most beautiful scenery. We passed numerous trains with
Government stores--one of baggage cars fitted up with rough seats and
crowded inside and on the top with a regiment of Uncle Sam's bluecoats,
cheering and singing as new troops only do. There were no signs of the
devastations of war until we approached the Monocacy river. During their
campaign in Maryland, the rebels at one time made this river their line
of defence: it was supposed that they would make here a stand against
McClellan's advance from Washington. They had burnt the woodwork of the
bridge, twisted the long iron rods of the structure to one side,
destroyed all the railroad building, engines, and cars they could lay
hands on, and had done everything to retard our force. A new bridge had
now been recently built, over which we were obliged to pass slowly.
Immediately after leaving the river, the road branched, one track
leading to Frederick, then an immense hospital containing seven thousand
wounded soldiers, the other keeping on and striking the Potomac at the
Point of Rocks. We saw soldiers and sentries at several places, but were
surprised that we did not see more. The road keeps close to the river
for some miles to Harper's Ferry. On the other side the ground was
frequently occupied by the enemy's pickets; the difficulty of
approaching the river being the only impediment to the shelling of
trains on our side. The Potomac was unusually low; there had been a long
season of dry, beautiful weather, rendering it fordable in many places.

At the Point of Rocks we enter upon the mountains of the Blue Ridge, and
the railroad winds in the deep valley worn by the river, amid the most
picturesque and beautiful scenery. The canal is between the railroad and
river: its locks had been destroyed and the water drained out by the
rebel hordes; for it is a great artery of life to Washington, and
invaluable to an army encamped along its borders, furnishing
economically the transportation of the great supplies necessary for the
soldiers' subsistence. At this time it seemed of no use except as a
depository for the carcasses of dead horses.

With the exception of this dismal empty canal, there were very few signs
of the ravages of the armies which had lately swept through these
charming valleys. A few miles from Harper's Ferry, by the side of the
railroad, were great hayricks, and the barns were full to overflowing.
As we approached Sandy Hook, a village of a few houses on the north side
of the Potomac, about a mile from Harper's Ferry, we saw on the road,
which ran close to the railroad track, thousands of the blue-bodied,
white-topped army wagons. In the most crowded thoroughfare of London one
would not see so many teams. From this neighborhood the great army of
the Potomac drew the most of its supplies. The ninth army corps was
moving this day to its camp, two or three miles northward; and part of
its cannon, their brazen throats still tarnished by sulphurous smoke,
added to the throng. It is surprising how large a portion of the army is
composed of these baggage trains, and of the camp followers, teamsters,
servants, and sutlers. A regiment of infantry, under the little shelter
tents is crowded, into a small space; but the bulky baggage trains cover
much ground. We spent the best part of a day, in going to and returning
from the army, in the neighborhood of a small wayside tavern in this
little village of Sandy Hook, with no other amusement than watching the
moving of the teamsters, chatting with stray officers and soldiers, and
seeing what may be called the back-stair life of the army. And we wish
here to protest against the abuse which has been so abundantly heaped
upon the teamsters: we found them, as a class, a respectable body of
men, quite skilful in the management of their animals, comparing well
with those in the same occupation in our great cities: there was
certainly not so much swearing, and not so much abuse of their mules and
horses, as one sees in New York. I remember their kind attention to me,
some days afterward, when, in my impatience to get by a long train of
teams filling up a little country road, I had imprudently urged my horse
on to a ledge of rocks, where he, not being an old warhorse, hesitated,
slipped, and fell flat on his side, among the mules of one of the
wagons; and, as the horse, with my leg under him, was rolling to recover
himself, the anxiety of the teamsters as to whether I was hurt, and then
as to my horse, a fine animal, who had cut himself a little on the
rocks. Their proffered assistance was very different from the oaths I
should have met under similar circumstances in some Northern cities.

The army wagons are large, with great white cotton coverings, and
generally drawn by six mules: the driver, usually a colored man, rides
the first nigh mule, and has _one_ rein, called the 'jerky rein,'
running over the head of the mule before him, through a ring fastened to
his headstall, and dividing on the back of the leader, and fastening to
his bit. The mule is directed to one side or another by the driver
twitching the rein and shouting. There were some few wagons driven from
the box, but in all these cases that we noticed, the animals were
horses, four in number, and their drivers were white. The mules and
horses were generally in good condition, and quite a contrast to those
in the cavalry service, which, even in a crack regiment, like the sixth
regular, presented a most sorry appearance of overwork and terribly hard
usage. The baggage trains and camp followers are a necessary portion of
every army, and its efficiency depends in a great measure upon the
perfect organization of this essential part. In the French army this
organization is carried to a high degree of perfection. A small army of
ten or twenty thousand men can get along with a fewer proportional
number of followers, as it lives more upon the country, than a great
army of one hundred thousand.

Every regiment has its own baggage wagons to carry its tents, cooking
apparatus, officers' mess chests, and personal baggage. At the beginning
of the war, each of the Massachusetts regiments was fitted out with from
fifteen to twenty-four wagons. A recent United States regulation has
limited the number to six for one regiment. The personal baggage of the
regiments, however, forms a small part of the great transportation of an
army. The spare ammunition is no small matter; every cannon having a
supply of round shot, shell, canister, and grape: all these may be
needed by each piece in a battle, as the shot used depends upon the
distance of the foe. A full regiment of infantry may fire in one battle
sixty thousand rounds of ammunition, weighing nearly three tons. The
pontoon trains, the baggage of the staff, the forage for the horses of
the artillery and of the generals, field officers, and their staffs, the
food of the army, and the food and forage for this further army of camp
followers--all have to be transported. The cavalry are expected to
forage for their horses from off the country; all the rest have to be
provided for. To carry the subsistence of a regiment of nine hundred men
for one day, requires one of the six-mule teams: for a march of twenty
days there must be twenty wagons. One will see from this that, next to
the general, the quartermaster has the great post of responsibility. He
has to see that all the supplies are obtained and forwarded to the right
place. He commands all these countless wagons with their teamsters. It
is also his duty, when on the march, to pick out the camp, unless the
general may take it from out of his hands. The army, as a general thing,
will not fight well unless it is well fed and well cared for. To assist
him, the quartermaster has his necessary clerks, for he carries on a
large business, with Uncle Sam as his principal, and he must account to
him for every pound of coffee, bacon, flour, and hay, barrel of vinegar,
keg of nails, tent or tent pin that he receives, and finally return
them, or tell him satisfactorily where they have gone, and produce his
vouchers; or he and his bondsmen must pay their value. All this is done
by system and rule: there are mounted wagonmasters to look out for every
small string of wagons, and some sort of discipline prevails among these
non-enlisted men. A great army must be a moving city, capable of
subsisting itself in the uncultivated and desert regions through which
it often passes. Every cavalry soldier carries his spare horseshoes and
nails; and every cavalry regiment and every battery of artillery has its
own forge, tools, and materials for shoeing its horses and making
repairs: even the quartermaster's train must have its blacksmiths and
their supplies.

In travelling down the Rhone during the Crimean war, I was vainly trying
to make out the meaning of the letters on the military button of an
officer sitting before me; when one of his companions, who happened to
be at my side, a well-educated, intelligent man, good-naturedly informed
me that they indicated that the wearer belonged to the bureau of the
post. He and several others on the boat had been educated for this
branch of the service at a military school in Paris, and were en route
for the sole purpose of taking charge of this department. We have not
arrived at this perfection; for ours, after all, in many respects, is an
army of volunteers; but still a messenger had to go every day to
Washington for the letters of the army corps, and the telegraph and its
wires travel with the camp. The officers' servants alone, in an army of
a hundred and fifty thousand men, number more than the thirty-nine
hundred soldiers the city of Boston has to raise for her proportion of
the levy of nine-months men. The number of servants and horses of an
officer depends upon his rank; he draws subsistence for the number
allowed to him. A mere cavalry captain can draw for and usually has two
horses. His horses and trappings, his mess, must be cared for by others;
and hence the thousands of servants that must go with the thousands of

But let us pass from this, which is common to every army, and proceed on
our journey. The easily pulverized, light, clayey soil around Sandy Hook
was raised in huge clouds by the countless wagons and the hoofs of the
horses of the squads of cavalry officers, couriers, and wagonmasters.
The little tavern was once, the old woman who kept it assured us,
surrounded by a pretty fence, and a garden with grass and flowers: now
the fence was half gone, and to its pickets were tied the horses of
officers, quartermasters, baggagemasters, and orderlies, and the flowers
were trampled into light dust. The provisions in the house had been
eaten by hungry travellers, who were supplied with very scanty fare, and
were thankful to get that. The old woman, having dealt out to us the
little she had left, for which she demanded most abundant compensation,
amused us with her tales. Her house had been alternately the home of
Unionists and rebels. It was not many days since divisions of rebels had
gone by and encamped there, both before and after the surrender of
Harper's Ferry. The shells fired in that fight had passed over her
tavern. Her description of the hungry, tired troopers, arriving in the
evening, and surrounding the house, the men falling down asleep under
their horses' bellies, horses and men packed in together as thick as a
swarm of bees, was quite graphic. Her accounts of her conversations with
the great rebel leaders were interesting, but I feared were apocryphal,
as she ended by assuring us that General Lee had to sleep supperless on
her woodpile. If it were not for this last tale, kind reader, you would
have been entertained with the conversations of the great chiefs of
rebeldom, as related by a reliable witness. We did hear from her, and
from officers who saw the rebel soldiers at Harper's Ferry, of the
pitiable condition of some of the infantry, of their naked, bleeding
feet, and their gaunt looks. Our landlady affirmed that we could not
find a dog in the neighborhood; for they had gone before the rebel
hordes in the way that such flesh disappears before the Chinese and
Pacific Islanders. It is probably true that at times they were hard
pressed for food, and many badly off for shoes; but we were told by
officers who saw the dead at Antietam that, though not so well shod as
our men, they were shod, and they had provisions in their haversacks.
The rebels have flour dealt out to them as rations on the march, and
they have to cook it. Our troops have hard biscuit, called 'tack;' it is
made in squares, and some which was fresh was very good; but it often
comes to the regiments with maggots. This is not so much objected to;
but when, in addition, it is mouldy, the men grumble. By the side of the
fresh tack were some Sandy Hook veteran biscuit, that had been through
the Peninsular campaign, and had come last from Harrison's Landing; the
outside of the boxes was enough to condemn them, and the commissary was
saying that he must get Uncle Sam's inspector-general to examine and
pass upon them. When we saw this hard, mouldy old tack, we appreciated
the joke of the Western boys, who declared they found the date of the
baking on their biscuit in the letters 'B. C.,' 'Before Christ.' The
luxury of soft bread is prized by the troops. Near Baltimore, where the
38th Massachusetts were stationed for some weeks, nice ovens were built,
after the fashion of the French army, and fresh bread, meats, and the
Yankee Sunday beans cooked. With the army in the field this cannot be
done, but the ovens could have been built during the weeks our soldiers
were resting on the banks of the Potomac. Our troops at this time were
fed on the hard tack and fresh beef; and some of the men in a camp near
Sharpsburg complained of the want of salt provisions. This seemed
unreasonable, until we heard that they had no salt, the long distance it
had to be teamed being the excuse given for the unpardonable want of it.
This hard tack is doing one good thing: it is giving the men white
teeth; you can tell an old soldier by his polished ivory; his teeth
approach the appearance of the Italian and Swiss peasantry, who also
chew hard bread. Reader, did you ever try to work your way through the
hard loaf of the peasant's fare? The army regulations require tooth
brushes for the men; it is supposed that the proper use keeps off ague
and disease; still many regiments were without one to a company.

But to return to our old woman at the little tavern of Sandy Hook. She
had tales, too, of our officers. That morning she had seen our
handsomest and our most splendid-looking general--in appearance the
ideal of the brigand of the romance--Burnside, riding by, with his
black, tall, army felt hat, without plume or gilt eagle, brim turned
down, his dark blue blouse covered with dust. 'Why,' said she, 'he
looked, in his dusty blue shirt, with two old tin dippers strung by the
handle at his belt, like any farmer; but I suppose he had some better
clothes.' Her lament for the gallant fellows who had fallen by disease,
torn by the cannon shot, or struck by the deadly rifle ball; for the
sufferings of the poor, sick, lame, and mutilated soldiers; and her
solemn asseverations that there was something wrong in the hearts of the
leaders on both sides, to permit this suffering and loss of so many good
men, was truly touching. We could not reason it out with her; logic had
to give place to her pathetic lamentation. I do not, however, intend to
keep my readers so long a time at this little wayside inn as I was; and
will pass on to Harper's Ferry, a mile beyond.

But before we part, we certainly should not fail to notice a modern
addition to the camp follower that Napoleon did not have in his grand
armies--the newsboy--the omnipresent, the irrepressible gamin of the
press. New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, all had
contributed their quota, and what a glorious harvest they were reaping!
Baltimore _Americans_, at five cents each; New York _Heralds_,
_Tribunes_, and _Times_, at ten cents; and everything sold early. One
little fellow was strutting around with a pair of spurs on, and styled
himself 'colonel;' the others he introduced as his staff. The day's work
was over, and larking had begun. I found the spurs were for use. The
colonel had bought an old condemned brute, which his companions were
trying to buy at the advanced price of ten dollars. The camps were at a
distance, from two miles upward, and a mounted boy could bring his wares
to market first. And so the whole afternoon every rider of a
particularly bad horse was pestered by an offer of five or ten dollars,
from a throng of dirty, noisy, scampish ragamuffins. Later in the
evening, the guard went by with some three or four of the boys, for once
without a grin on their faces, under arrest. We asked the colonel, who
had the reputation of being an honest fellow, what was the matter with
his suite. He only replied that it was hard times for newsboys, if that
was the way things were going; and walked off, clanking his long spurs
over the stones.

The railroad and road from Sandy Hook to Harper's Ferry run under the
Maryland Heights, the rocks having been blasted away for a passage. The
railroad bridge had been rebuilt, not permanently, but so that trains
could again cross. Lower down the river were the remains of the pontoon
bridge destroyed by the rebels. Higher up on the other side of the
railroad was a new pontoon bridge, built on boats, painted with Uncle
Sam's light blue color. Farther up, the wagons were fording the stream.
As you crossed the pontoon bridge, you came directly to the little stone
engine house, with its belfry, where John Brown held the power of the
great State of Virginia at bay. All else of the Government buildings are
in ruins. The long lines of brick and stone walls blackened by fire, and
the picturesque broken arches of the engine-house windows, were a fit
greeting to one's entrance upon the ruined grandeur of the Old Dominion.
Through the clouds of dust and the noise and confusion of the village
upon the hill rising immediately above the river, we rode, noting the
signs of the recent contest, or looking down on the blue Potomac,
flowing peacefully below. One large brick house had a breach in the
basement story large enough for us to ride in, caused by some bursting
shell. Dead horses still lay in the road; the tailpiece of a broken
cannon was yet there. As we emerged out of the dust at the top of the
hill beyond, toward the afternoon sun, rose Bolivar Heights, and the
innumerable white tents of General Sumner's large army corps. The
soldiers were out for drill or dress parade. The distant sounds of the
bands and bugles and drums, sometimes succeeding each other, then
mingling together, fell softened but constantly on the ear, and
everywhere was the gleam of the declining sun on glistening sword or
bright musket barrel. Behind us to the east, and beyond the Shenandoah,
which flowed at the foot of the village, arose the high Loudon
Mountains; on the north, on the other side of the Potomac, were the
Maryland Heights, with the road to Sharpsburgh and Williamsport winding
along its wooded base. The tops of these mountains were lighted up and
wreathed with the smoke of the fires kindled to destroy the thick woods
that might afford shelter to approaching enemies. It was most charming
mountain scenery. We enjoyed the view long, but had to turn our backs at
last; and as we recrossed the pontoon bridge we wiped off from the soles
of our feet a large portion of the sacred soil of Virginia. Yes, the
sacred soil of Virginia, the mother of presidents, the home of
Washington, Patrick Henry, Jefferson, and Madison, and of how many
others famous in our history. O Virginia, what a contrast is there now!
the blood of thy boasted chivalry struggling manfully stains the ground;
thy soil is ground to powder under the heel of the hated mudsils of the
North; thy fertile plains and beautiful valleys are trodden down by
armed men; the fierce contest, and desolation and want have come to
every household; and the cry arises for thy sons that are not!

The headquarters of Gen. McClellan were two or three miles north of
Knoxville, a little village on the Potomac, about three miles below
Harper's Ferry. The day that we were there, the General was absent on
his way to meet Mrs. McClellan, and though the telegraph wires ran to
headquarters, nothing was there known of the foray Stuart had begun
early that morning from Hancock, in the rear of our forces; not till
evening, and until his arrival at Chambersburg did the news arrive. If
the telegraph wires had been laid, or the signal corps so stationed as
to have given warning of the inception of this movement, these bold
rebels could not have advanced so far, but would have been compelled to
retreat as they came. Between the General's headquarters and the river
were the famous sixth cavalry of regulars and some batteries of
artillery. He had no guard in the direction of Pennsylvania toward the
northeast, where Stuart's cavalry passed on their way to the Potomac.
The camp itself was not well placed, and was soon changed. In going from
it we rode through a most beautiful country by the side of an officer of
the sixth cavalry, and listened to his enthusiastic account of scouting
in front of our lines, in the footsteps of the retreating enemy, over
the very roads we were travelling safely and without concern; and yet we
were not many miles from the foe, and within reach of the marvellous
flight of the minié ball, which some lurking rifleman might aim from the
other side of the Potomac. These cavalry soldiers and horses have had a
terribly hard time of it. The horses of the sixth were more broken down
and thinner than in the artillery or baggage trains. Two squadrons had
lately been part of the force sent on a reconnoisance to Leesburg; and
upon the return of our troops it had been the duty of our companion,
then in command, to bring up the rear and drive in the infantry
stragglers. Some two hundred had fallen out of the ranks from mere
exhaustion. To leave any of these soldiers behind would be giving them
up as prisoners, and affording the enemy the opportunity of obtaining
information which it was of the utmost importance for the safety of the
expedition to keep back. The troopers had therefore to drive them on
with their swords--not a pleasant duty, when the poor fellows were faint
and used up by fatigue--still it must be done. This service creates
quite a dislike between the two arms. The infantry man hates the
horseman, and the cavalry man despises the foot soldier. At this time
straggling was quite prevalent: we saw on byroads many who had left the
ranks, almost invariably having thrown away their arms, and subsisting
on plunder. The cavalry were scouring the roads for them, and were
bringing them in as prisoners for punishment. This sixth cavalry, like
all the old regiments which had been through the Peninsular campaign and
the disastrous retreat under Pope, was frightfully reduced in numbers:
only three hundred and seventy were around the standards out of the
eleven hundred who first took the field. Many had fallen on picket or
been cut off singly, more by disease, but alike doing their duty,
unmentioned and unnoticed. A larger number were yet suffering from
overwork and sickness; and the regiment would in time recruit to seven
hundred, from men now disabled, if there should be no more casualties.

A few days in camp, in a good-sized tent--none of the two-feet-high
shelter affairs--in pleasant summer weather, is, on the whole, something
new and exhilarating. The ground, to be sure, is rather hard,
particularly when you have no straw; and a soldier's table is not always
the most luxurious in the world. Now that we are safe, dry, and warm, at
home, we can venture to declare that we were very unfortunate in losing
the sensation of going without food, of sleeping in the mud and in the
rain--our arms girded on--any moment to be aroused by the whistle of
the bullet or the roll of the drum calling us to the deadly strife.

To us, however, it was all _couleur de rose_. In the early morn, at
break of day, it was not the crow of the cock, or the jarring rattle of
the wheels of the city baker or milkman, but the reveille that waked us
from our martial dreams. The drum of the infantry, the bugles of the
cavalry and artillery would begin; some early riser would rouse up his
regiment; then another would take it up; until the call had gone through
every corps. The old staid rub-a-dub of the English drummer is giving
place to the stirring French rat-a-plan. And there was one band that
generally led off in a splendid style. They did beat their drums lively
and sharply. Not being obliged to be up with the sun and cook our own
breakfast, we generally contrived to get a little more sleep. After
breakfast, the bands were playing for guard-mounting; and we sat gazing
down into the valley from our tent upon the large army corps encamped
below. We were on the western slope of the Blue Ridge, through whose
gaps not many days before, a few miles farther north, Franklin had
successfully fought his way. Still farther up, Burnside, with Reno and
Hooker under him, had at South Mountain driven the enemy in--that battle
which came to us so welcome, the first victory after Pope's disasters,
and the retreat from the Peninsula. The valley below us was Pleasant
Valley. The opposite side to our tent was a short spur of the Blue
Ridge; the southern extremity of which is the Maryland Heights, so well
known in the history of the surrender of Harper's Ferry. The valley
between is fertile and highly cultivated, full of mountain springs and
brooks, emptying into one stream of sufficient size to turn the wheels
of a large mill; the water is delicious; the prevailing limestone does
not reach this valley. In the morning before the army moved there, the
little river was clear as crystal; at night it was changed into an
opaque white color, a stream of soapy water; a pleasing witness to the
cleanliness of our men. There were no clothes lines, however, but many
of the washers were so scantily off for clothing that they put their
garments on to dry. The farmhouses in the valley are mostly of stone. It
is a most charming and beautiful place, and appropriately called
'Pleasant Valley.' The farmers are prosperous; and the land so rich that
it sells for the high price of seventy and eighty dollars an acre. The
mountains rising on the sides of the valley are thickly wooded; and in
the cultivated fields between were crowded the tents of the ninth army
corps. With the exception of one or two new regiments who had wall
tents, the soldiers were under little shelter tents, of which each man
carries a piece. The infantry were encamped in divisions and brigades;
the cavalry generally picketed along a fence; the horses and men, except
the officers, without shelter. The encampments of the artillery and
cavalry with their horses, forges, and wagons, covered much ground; but
the infantry were thickly crowded together; and it was surprising to see
how many men a small encampment would turn out.

In the afternoon came drills, sometimes of regiments, sometimes of
brigades, and the unfailing dress parade. There were a few regiments of
new levies just arrived, a thousand strong; all provided with overcoats,
and looking finely in their new, clean clothes--quite a contrast to the
old soldiers. In one of the old regiments on brigade drill we saw an
officer, probably a sergeant, in a checked knit undervest, his neck and
part of his arms bare--commanding a company. A sentry on guard before
the quarters of the general in command, had great holes in both elbows
of his dirty jacket, and his shoes were untied. The brigades were
generally of five regiments, a new regiment being one, and composing
fully two fifths of the line. It is not wholly, however, by the
casualties of the battle or the greater losses from exposure, overwork,
and disease, that the regiments are diminished. If a good blacksmith is
found, he is detailed to the forge; others are detached as ambulance
drivers, or as hospital attendants or clerks. This thins the ranks of
the old regiments. It is surprising, however, to see how much better the
veterans will bear exposure than men coming fresh from home. The old
regiments were frightfully diminished by disease on the Peninsula; but I
saw very few that could not rally more men than the 35th Massachusetts,
that had been out of the State only a little over a month. They had but
three hundred men of the original thousand. They left Washington without
their knapsacks; and had marched without even the shelter tents,
officers and men alike bivouacking on the ground, wearing the same
clothes without a change. The long marches, the exposures, the
excitement of battle, and the unaccustomed food had disabled four
hundred men; some of them undoubtedly never strong enough to have
enlisted, and who should have been rejected by the examining surgeons.
The old regiments, who had gradually been hardened to this life, and who
had learned to thrive on the soldier's fare, lost comparatively few in
this way.

The brigade drills and the manoeuvres in line were not so well
executed as we expected. There was no practice in firing at a mark;
probably from a want of ammunition. From accounts of officers on the
field of battle, it certainly is the case in our army that some of the
fresh soldiers will fire in the air, and even close their eyes. The
Hythe system, as now taught in the English army, and among the rifle
clubs, makes excellent marksmen; and the greater part of the instruction
is without the use of powder. It is a pity it cannot be more extensively
introduced in our army.

One does not expect to find the same training before the enemy as in the
great French camps of instruction. It was my good fortune to visit the
camp of a portion of the great Crimean army. The privates, besides their
military drill, were exercised in running, leaping, fencing, and boxing;
and some sergeants were teaching dancing. I followed a regiment of the
chasseurs of Vincennes to their field of drill. For an hour or two they
went through different manoeuvres by the bugle, performing many of the
movements at the double quick. Then came a rest; as soon as that was
ordered, the fine band of the regiment came forward and struck up a
lively dance, to the tune of which several of the privates amused and
refreshed themselves by waltzing round the field.

Returning, however, to our picturesque camp in this charming valley.
There was no more striking scene than when darkness came on and the
thousand camp fires and lights in the tents were all in sight. The rail
fences, bought by the thoughtful quartermaster, and paid for as an army
supply, were used as fuel; a truly considerate act, for a quartermaster
can buy fuel for the army, but he cannot pay damages done to property.
This same ground, now covered by our troops, had been camped over by
Lee's army; who had also used the fences, not even paying for them in
the worthless Confederate scrip. Soon after dark, the bright lights of
the signal corps appeared on the mountain north of the Maryland Heights,
and messages were sent to McClellan's headquarters. Flags are used in
the day, and at night lanterns. The signal officer has two lights; they
are held one above the other, the lower one being stationary; moving the
upper light to the right means number one; moving the light to the left,
number two; moving first to the right and then to the left, number
three; by lowering the upper light in front of the under one, a fourth
signal is given; and so on. There are about five numbers; and by the
different combinations of these five numbers, there is made a great
number of signals, which can be read by the officers who have the key.
The mode is much the same as that used by our mercantile marine with
their signal flags. The signals are given very rapidly, and a few
minutes suffice for the sending of the messages.

Evening is the time for talk around the camp fires; and the conversation
often turns upon our rebellious brethren. Among our regular officers you
meet the classmates and old companions in arms of the rebels, and hear
of little traits and peculiarities that only intimate acquaintances can
relate. Civilians who had known General Lee at Washington, have spoken
of him as very formal, and rather pompous in his manner, giving the
impression that he was a man of more show and pretence than abilities.
We learned here, however, that, in Texas, or California, where he was
for a long time before he took his high position on Scott's staff, he
was famous for marching his men without the usual encumbrances of
baggage, on the most severe expeditions against the Indians, in the snow
and cold of the winter. Stonewall Jackson has always been famed for his
peculiarities. When a young man, he was possessed with the idea that he
was in danger of having his limbs paralyzed, and he would pump on his
arm for many minutes, counting the strokes, and annoyed beyond measure
by the interruptions of his companions breaking up his count. Our
officers, both regular and volunteer, who have been in actual battle,
have a great respect for the rebel leaders and soldiers; they speak very
highly of their drill, and believe that straggling exists to a less
extent among them, in battle, than with us. From the rebel newspapers I
should doubt whether this is the case. One thing we have not considered,
which has given the rebels a great advantage in this contest. It is the
large number of military colleges in the South; not like our few private
schools at the North, but well-endowed academies. In the summer of 1860,
immediately before the election of Lincoln, I visited the military
academy at Lexington, Virginia. It was supported at the expense of the
State, with two hundred and more pupils, coming from the different
counties in proportion to their population. They were practised in the
actual firing of cannon and mortars; and every afternoon were drilled as
infantry for about two hours, much of the time at the double quick. The
principal was a graduate of West Point; and he was assisted by a
respectable board of instructors. A good civil and military education,
after the mode of instruction at West Point, was afforded to the
students. This institution had been in existence for years; and one can
readily appreciate the advantage that Virginia has in this war from the
graduates of this school. Alabama and several other of the Southern
States have similar colleges; while we at the North have been obliged to
educate all our volunteer officers by actual service.

The morning Stuart with his cavalry left Chambersburg, we rode forth for
the battle field of the Antietam. We noticed the disappearance of some
of the camps of the infantry brigades. We knew of the patrolling of the
cavalry along the road we were pursuing, and found the picket guards
farther out, and passes and countersigns necessary where before we went
unchallenged. We were several hours in getting to the battle field, and
stopped to get some refreshments at a large brick farmhouse, where the
battle on the left began. The hospital flag was still flying over the
building, though no patients had been there for a day or two.
Twenty-seven died in that one farmhouse from wounds received in that
bloody fight. On the night of the battle, cows, sheep, poultry, and
fences disappeared before our cold and hungry troops. But since then,
though the house was in the neighborhood of several camps, the old lady
and her daughters, who alone were at home, had been undisturbed, except
by the small pilferings of stragglers.

The great battle has been so well described by the correspondents of the
newspaper press, and by those who were over the field before we were,
that I shall only mention a few incidents to which our attention was
called. The principal contest was on the right, west of the Antietam
river. Here Hooker with his army corps began the battle, and fought so
long and splendidly. Both armies crowded their forces to this part of
the field. Sumner, whose troops had been with their belts on since three
in the morning, brought up his large corps, drawn up in three columns,
forty paces apart, to reënforce Hooker's hard-pressed soldiers, who were
retreating before the fresh and overwhelming reënforcements of the
enemy. In less than an hour, the whole of Sumner's corps was swept back,
broken and entirely routed, and never appeared in the field again; the
column in the rear not being in position to fire a gun, but losing as
many men as those in front.

The manner in which General Sumner brought his troops into action has
been severely criticized, even by officers of his own corps; whether
justly or not, it is difficult to decide. No commander was more confided
in by his soldiers than Sumner. 'He has risen from the ranks, and been
through all the grades of the service,' 'He knows how to treat his men,'
were expressions constantly heard. General Hooker's reputation as a
fighting general was admitted everywhere; his _coup d'oeil_ of the
battle field was represented as most excellent.

It was also on the right that the desperate fighting in the woods and
the deadly struggle at close quarters in the cornfield with such fearful
loss of life took place. An officer who was on the battle fields of
Magenta and Solferino, says that the scene here was much more horrible.
Many spoke of the scenes they saw with a shudder. They could not throw
off the impression made by the masses of wounded and dead; the wounded
often lying neglected and helpless under the dead, sometimes crushed to
death by the wheels of our own artillery.

Our left at Antietam was far off from the right: in these days of guns
of long range the line of battle is longer than it was formerly. At
Waterloo the English occupied a front of less than two miles. In this
battle ours was about four miles. In the battle of Solferino the
engagement extended for eighteen miles.

The contest on the left was fought by General Burnside with only one
army corps, the ninth. The battle at this place was a most gallant
affair, but has excited less attention than the bloody fight on the
right. In the dusty, tiresome march through Maryland, in the skirmishes
in and around Frederick, during the glorious hearty welcome our troops
received in that old town, the advance, consisting of both Hooker's and
Reno's army corps, had been commanded by Burnside. With them he had
fought the successful and brilliant battle of South Mountain, coming to
us so gratefully after the disastrous repulse and retreat of Pope. Reno
had unfortunately fallen, and General Burnside took command of his
corps: it was his old force from North Carolina, increased by General
Cox's Kanawha troops, and some new regiments, in all a little short of
twenty thousand men. On the morning of the battle, Burnside took his
station on the east side of the Antietam, in a field overlooking the
country on the other side of the river. The gathering of his staff to
their breakfast brought the shells of the enemy in their midst, and
compelled a change of position to the rear of some haystacks. On the
same hill was placed a formidable battery of rifled cannon, throwing
twenty-pound shot, commanded by Lieutenant Benjamin, of the regular
artillery. The guns are so heavy that they each have eight horses to
drag them, and the caissons have six. There was unfortunately a short
supply of ammunition, and the battery was fired slowly during the day.
The guns were well placed and served, and aimed with wonderful accuracy.
Shells were planted in two of the enemy's ammunition carts, blowing them
to pieces; and the fire of cannon was so hot that it compelled a rebel
battery two miles off, coming down a road to get into position, to wheel
round and gallop over the hill. Proud, indeed, were the Lieutenant's men
of their exploits on that day, and wonderful stories they told of their
famous battery.

The Antietam in front of Burnside was deep, not fordable, flowing in the
bottom of a charming valley, and overshadowed by trees. There was a
solid stone bridge over it, with three arches, rising picturesquely in
the centre, with stone parapets on the sides, the parapets spreading at
both ends of the structure. One would almost imagine that it was an old
Italian bridge transported to our wooden-building land. The side of the
valley held by the rebel troops rises sharply, not densely wooded, but
covered by large trees thickly placed, as in an old English park. Along
the top of this ridge ran a solid stone wall, thicker and of heavier
stones than any we saw in the neighborhood. Where the wall ended rifle
pits had been dug. Behind the massive trunks, and in the branches of the
old trees, behind this wall and in the pits, were crowded the
sharpshooters of the rebels. The ascent from the bridge out of the
valley on the enemy's side, was too steep for a straight road up the
ridge. If ever a bridge could be defended, that should have been; the
only disadvantage the rebels were under was that they could not sweep it
with artillery.

Our left had vainly attempted to cross the bridge; twice had they been
repulsed. On the right our troops were hard pressed; much of the ground
gained in the morning had been lost; Hooker was wounded, Sumner's corps
routed, Mansfield killed, and his corps beaten back. Then McClellan
ordered Burnside to take the bridge, and hold it at any cost. Burnside
sent some troops farther down the river, where it was fordable. He
called up one of his old brigades that had been with him in North
Carolina, saying, if any brigade could take the bridge, that one would.
It was composed of the 51st New York, 51st Pennsylvania, 21st
Massachusetts, and a Rhode Island regiment; on their colors were
inscribed, 'Roanoke,' 'Newbern,' two of our most glorious victories.
With these veteran troops was the 35th Massachusetts, a new regiment
that had left home only a month before, but who nobly did their part.
Down went the 51st Pennsylvania in column in the advance, at the run,
shouting and crowding and firing as they hurried across the bridge,
bringing down the rebels from the trees, suffering themselves, but never
halting. They crossed and deployed on the other side. Next came the 35th
Massachusetts, over the bridge, up the valley, then forming in line of
battle on the top of the small hill commanding the stream. The enemy
were drawn up before them, quite a distance off, on the top of the next
hill. Every inch of ground between was commanded by the rebel fire; but
our brave fellows charged on up this hill, driving the foe before them:
they did not halt there, for another still higher hill, which could now
for the first time be seen farther on, rose up before them. Nothing
daunted, they followed up their charge, and drove the enemy from this
hill, and took this most commanding position. There they halted, close
to Sharpsburg, almost in the rear of the rebels. Some of our troops even
penetrated to Sharpsburg itself, and were taken prisoners. A short
distance farther would have cut off the enemy's direct retreat to the
Potomac. Rebel troops were seen hurrying on the road to the river. Our
men were now fired upon by artillery, and attacked by fresh bodies of
infantry coming up, as the enemy say in their account, from Harper's
Ferry. Our brave fellows, however, stood their ground, waiting for
reënforcements, which Burnside called for. But McClellan, unfortunately,
dared not throw in his reserves; his object had probably been gained in
making a diversion from the hard contested field on our right. Our
gallant fellows had to stand there unsupported until their ammunition
gave out; they fired their sixty rounds of ammunition, collecting all
they could from their dead and wounded comrades, and then began to
retreat. Benjamin's battery of artillery was also short of ammunition,
and could not support them. Our brave boys only retreated to the next
hill, not to the hill above the Antietam, and then lay on their arms
during the night, and there they stayed during the next day, expecting
the order to advance.

Little mounds of earth, covering fallen heroes, point out the course of
our soldiers all the way from this side of the Antietam to the top of
the farthest hill. Here our men were so much more exposed than the
rebels that our loss was greater than theirs. On the right the rebel
loss was much the larger.

In the battle beyond the river, the Hawkins Zouaves, another of the
regiments distinguished in North Carolina, captured a rebel battery at
the point of the bayonet. In the rebel account we are told how the brave
General Toombs, with a whole brigade, retook the battery and defeated
this single regiment, which they magnify into an immense force.

General McClellan, with all his knowledge and great skill and success in
defensive warfare, as shown in his Peninsular campaign, after our defeat
at Gaines's Mill, is wanting in the rapidity of comprehension and
audacity which are necessary components of the highest military talent.
He waits for too many chances, and fears any risk.

In the battle of Antietam, he had fifteen thousand fresh men under Fitz
John Porter in the centre. The enemy had probably used their last
soldier, for the correspondent of the Charleston _Courier_, who has
given the best rebel account of the battle, impliedly states that they
had no reserves left. Ignorant of our unused troops, he laments the want
of a few more rebel men, and says, that if only five thousand of their
stragglers, who were on the way to Winchester, had been present, a most
decisive rebel victory would have been obtained. If McClellan had added
Fitz John Porter's reserve to Burnside's soldiers, he would have had
nearly thirty-five thousand men flanking the enemy, already beaten, and
threatening their retreat across the Potomac. Who knows what those fresh
men might not have done? Many think that the doubtful victory would have
ended in the most brilliant decided success, and the stone bridge of
Antietam would have stood in history by the side of Arcola and Lodi. But
let us be thankful for what we did achieve: never should the nation
forget how a retreating, discouraged, defeated, demoralized, and even
mutinous army, that had suffered terribly in killed and wounded, and
lost prisoners and large numbers of cannon and material, was again
reformed, and marched triumphantly against a victorious foe; achieved on
Sunday the brilliant victory of South Mountain, and on Wednesday fought
the bloody fight of Antietam. There we captured cannon, small arms, and
standards, and lost none. Many have forgotten that ever since spring the
rebels have boasted that the war was to be carried within our territory;
that they had begun this programme; and that General Lee in entering
Maryland had issued a boasting proclamation, promising to redeem it from
a hated tyranny. If he had succeeded, and defeated McClellan, as he had
beaten Pope between Manassas and Washington, we had no reinforcements or
forts to prevent his march to Philadelphia. McClellan's presence stirred
the common soldier as Napoleon's did, and it was this unbounded
enthusiasm which he excited, that saved the nation when he took command
at Washington. I know of nothing that made me more indignant than the
folly of some ladies who, among his soldiers on the Potomac, decried and
denounced him as an imbecile. What treachery can be worse than the
attempt to destroy the confidence of the soldiers in their leader, when
their lives depend upon his judgment and skill, and there can be only
dejection and despair when that judgment and skill are doubted.

Upon our return from the battle field to Pleasant Valley, we heard that
orders to McClellan to advance had come from Washington. The only
answers to inquiries when the advance would take place, were ominous
shakings of the head or shrugs of the shoulders, which were indicative
of anything but belief in a speedy movement. We also heard of the
appointment of General Burnside to the command of three army corps, the
precursor of a greater command yet to come. We have in our new
commander-in-chief a general who has an implicit belief that our cause
is just, and a trust in Providence that he will make the just cause
victorious. In General McClellan we had also a general who believed in
Providence, and who has always shown great reverence in his writings.
General McClellan is reticent. You can, however, tell somewhat of the
opinion of the head of the house from his children; and judging from the
tone of belief among the General's military family, from that long delay
after Antietam, it was pretty evident that in his opinion the South
cannot be subdued, and that the question between us was a matter of
boundary. With General Burnside we have no such belief. His faults, if
they are faults, are those of the bold general, not of the Fabian order.
At Newbern he brought at once into the fight every soldier he had, not
keeping one in reserve; and he gained the battle by his audacious
policy. And it is the wonder to this day of every one who has been over
the battle field, that the enemy should have been beaten. With all this
boldness, he is a modest man; twice before having refused the chief
command: once when it was offered to him at the time Pope was appointed;
again when McClellan took it before Washington. Of a commanding figure,
every inch a soldier, one cannot look upon him and his kindly eye
without instant admiration. His modest way of riding among the men,
alone or attended by a single orderly, will make him beloved by our
republican soldiers. He was so then, and 'Old Burn,' as they familiarly
called him, was everywhere heartily received. By the way, McClellan's
nickname on the Peninsula was 'George,' and not 'Little Mac,' as is
generally supposed.

General Burnside, we believe, is a good judge of men. The generals he
selected for his North Carolina expedition, though previously unknown,
and but captains in the service, have already distinguished themselves
and justified his choice. General Foster, now commanding the department
of North Carolina, has shown himself an able, active general. All who
have been connected with him, speak highly of him. Though not a
Massachusetts man, he has a peculiar penchant for Massachusetts troops:
he was first at Annapolis, and picked out for the first brigade the
Massachusetts soldiers. Recently, through the Governor, he has obtained
some eight or ten more regiments, and in some way or other he has the
crack ones.

General Reno, who was Burnside's second brigadier, has made a reputation
that will live forever in his country's history. At the battle of
Roanoke the little general, but a month before a captain of ordnance,
stood up fearlessly in the swamp amid his men, when they were lying down
by his direction, and coolly gave his orders and encouraged them,
entirely regardless of the balls flying round him on every side. In
Pope's retreat, and amid disaster and defeat, he acquired new reputation
by his skill, energy, and daring. A Virginian by birth, he was truly a
loyal man; and, unlike some generals of our army corps, obeyed orders,
and did all that could be done for the country and the general in
command. His testimony that Pope's dispositions were good, if he had
only been obeyed, should weigh much in that general's favor. After the
victory of South Mountain, he was reconnoitring the enemy, when he fell
by a random shot, which came, so those who were in the action say, from
some soldier of our force. Lyon, Kearny, Reno, gone! Have we three such
men left?

General Park, an accomplished soldier, who particularly distinguished
himself at the battle of Newbern, was General Burnside's third
brigadier. The country will feel renewed confidence from his remaining
with our new commander as chief of staff.

On the morning we left the camp, a squad from a new regiment just
arrived had been detailed for the guard at headquarters; one of the
sentries was smoking his pipe as he marched up and down; another, who
should have been patrolling his beat, was seated on the ground, cleaning
his musket with a piece of wash leather he pulled from his pocket. The
General was not near to stop these unsoldierly occupations. We came to
the opinion that the boys in that regiment had never been to a country
muster; but they were stout fellows and looked like fight.

At Sandy Hook, on the day of our return, we had to wait until nine in
the evening for the train to Baltimore. Stuart's cavalry had been over
the road in the morning, making their escape into Virginia. They dared
not stay to do mischief; our forces were at all the important points.
Considering the immense supplies in the rear of the army, Stuart did
very little harm; his eight hundred fresh horses were not worth the risk
he ran. If he could have seized our supplies at Monocacy Station, and
burnt the bridge there, he would have inflicted a serious loss upon the
army. The nature of his raid seemed well understood, and there was no
apprehension then of the enemy's holding the railroad; for the train
from Baltimore had passed over the restored rails a few hours after the
retreating troopers. At every important point we found soldiers, and
near Frederick we were glad to hear that seven of the sick troopers,
used up by their hard service, had fallen behind and been taken. We
learned that General Pleasanton with some of our cavalry was in pursuit,
and there were several stories about an engagement: the firing of cannon
had been heard. General Pleasanton at that time was held in very little
esteem, and seemed to have particularly disgusted those who had served
under him, and was often cited as an example of McClellan's lack of
judgment in men. He appears since to have acquired a newspaper
reputation for ability and energy. I only hope that it is deserved, and
that the opinions we heard so often were not well founded.

We arrived at the Baltimore depot at four in the morning amid a rain,
and found it occupied by some one or two thousand soldiers, standing and
sitting about in their blue overcoats with their arms stacked. Not a
carriage could be obtained, and so, shouldering our bag in military
fashion, we marched for the Eutaw House. At the door was stationed a
guard, marking it as the headquarters of Major-General Wool. We passed
by unchallenged; in our bag, however, we had rebel ammunition: a loaded
shell fired at our men as they were crossing the stone bridge at
Antietam. Fortunately the fuse had gone out, and it remained a trophy
for one of the despicable Down-East Yankees. We heard the old General
was still the centre of attraction to the pretty secesh ladies who had
friends or relatives in durance vile in Fort McHenry. The veteran hero,
though rich, wears a uniform that shows the marks of service. That,
however, does not prevent the constant presents of delicious fruit and
beautiful flowers, and invitations to drive to the fort, from those
bewitching belles of Baltimore: whereat some strong Union people grumble



The law under consideration is exemplified in the social, industrial,
and political development of the United States. There is a manifest
difference, however, between the history of our civilization and that of
Europe, though not in the least affecting the integrity of the law. The
people of our nation were not derived directly from a rude and primitive
condition, as were those of the Old World. The history of our
civilization is, in its origin, coördinate with European civilization in
the seventeenth century, after modern intellect had been fairly aroused,
and the national organizations had been quite fully developed. The chaos
and barbarism which the history of European civilization presents, and
the play of antagonizing forces through the long period of centuries,
resulting in some degree of political order and unity, does not belong,
except as an introduction, to the history of American civilization. Ours
is a branch from the European, after it had been growing for several
hundred years.

During the period which intervened between the Declaration of American
Independence and the adoption of the Constitution of the United States,
there was no formal and permanent bond of union between the several
States; it was provisional,--they were held together by outside pressure
and a common interest in the cause of independence. The settlement of a
general government for all the States was a crisis, not only in the
affairs of this country, but of the whole civilized world, as we believe
the future will most fully reveal. To the responsible statesmen of that
day, this was a period of intense solicitude, such as we can realize
only by an effort of mind to place ourselves in their situation, and
bring before us the magnitude of the objects to be attained, and the
difficulties to be overcome. There was then, as now, a diversity of
interests to be harmonized; but there was one interest, which, in its
political relations, requires to be characterized by a stronger term
than that of 'diversity.' Between chattel slavery and free labor there
is 'irrepressible' antagonism, and there could be no real union--no
blending of the twain; but the gulf was bridged, under the pressure of
necessity, as the wisdom of the times could best devise. It was, indeed,
well done. Union was the great object to be accomplished--it was the
highest, the most comprehensive principle that could enter into the
motives of political action--it was even a necessity of the current
civilization, and must needs subordinate all minor principles and
interests; and we owe a debt of gratitude to those who so nobly wrought
this glorious Union out of colonial chaos and isolation.

The instrument of this Union has been characterized by well-meaning,
but one-idea minds, as a 'covenant with death, and an agreement with
hell,' simply because it effected the union of free with slave States.
This method of characterizing the Constitution of our country--as noble
a document for its time and place as the world has ever seen--can well
be excused, since it has no doubt been done in utter obliviousness of
the importance of the principle of political unitization. The original
consummation of this Union was a great step in political progress; it
was an achievement of the master principle of political movement; and
God wills that no part of the advantage then gained in the struggle of
Destiny shall ever be given up!

But while unity is thus exemplified in the history of our Government,
the phenomenon of differentiation is also manifest. The functions of
government have greatly multiplied since its first organization; the
'division of labor' process has been going on, and new departments and
bureaus have been established. While I write, the expediency of another
department, that of agriculture, is being agitated in Congress. The
Department of the Interior has been quite recently created, and new
bureaus in this department, and in others, are being created from time
to time, by act of Congress, to meet new wants in the administration of
our Government. And what is true in this respect of the General
Government is, also, true of the State Governments; for there, too, do
we find the development of new functions, and the creation of new
official organs to execute the same.

This growth of the country at large, from which these new demands on the
Government arise, is to be seen very distinctly in the industrial and
educational elements of society. While these interests increase in
magnitude and variety, and the people are becoming more concerned
therein, the Government assumes a responsibility in regard thereto,
which can only be discharged by the multiplication of the administrative
appliances. These new governmental activities arise from the popular
will, as moulded and expressed through the more intelligent and
enterprising of its actors. They choose to have it so. It is found
convenient, in the promotion of certain general interests, to appeal to
a power which is presumed to embody the elements of order and authority
in the execution of its will. In the construction of railroads and
telegraphs, capitalists must coöperate with the Government in relation
to questions of right, which, in many cases, can only be settled by a
regularly constituted tribunal. State agricultural societies appeal to
State Governments for coöperation, and when received, the industrial
interests of the country are advanced thereby. We all know what State
Governments have done for the cause of education. Sections of country
which would at this hour have been in a state of almost semi-barbarism
have--thanks to our educational policy--been redeemed from their
prejudices against intelligence and education, and been made to step
into line with the advancing columns of civilization. The same
civilizing influences, precisely, have been brought to bear, by the
active part which Government has taken in the improvement of all the
means of travel, trade, and the transmission of intelligence. The
intelligent and active few have thus advanced the interests of the many.
In districts of country which have been without the channels of commerce
except in a very rude condition, and where the enterprise of the people
was inadequate to their improvement, the Government has reached out its
strong arm and redeemed them from their primitive rudeness, thereby
promoting the physical condition, the enlightenment, and the culture of
the people. There are plenty of instances on record, in which
improvements of this kind--of roads, for example--have been made against
the will and in spite of the opposition of the people most to be
benefited thereby; and had they not been related under the same
government to communities more intelligent and enterprising than
themselves, they would have remained in an isolated and semi-barbarous

Now, while we readily discern the increase in the objects and in the
machinery of government, we cannot so readily discern the abatement of
governmental interference with the private affairs of the individual, as
in governments of longer standing. There has not been time for great
changes in this respect; and then, in the earliest legislation of our
country there was comparatively so little that was obnoxious to
individual freedom, that there has been less occasion for the change in
question. The Blue Laws of Connecticut are proverbial for their
intermeddling with private life. There has been no change in this
respect so marked since the organization of our Government as there was
before; but so far as there has been any, it is in favor of the
exemption of the individual, in ordinary times, from legal interference.
The entire atmosphere of American society is becoming more liberal as
general education advances; and this, in turn, acts upon the legislative
and executive functions of the Government, to make the laws and the
execution of the same more acceptable to a cultured people. The 'Maine
Law,' earnest and benevolent as it was in purpose, and to all seeming so
obviously founded in the right of society to protect itself, could not
be sustained against this tendency in government to let the individual
alone in the affairs of his private life.

We have observed that there is a concentration of different industrial
and commercial functions in different sections of the country, whereby
these sections become dependent upon each other, and the unity of the
whole, to a certain extent, made inevitable. Now, we insist that
political economy and the greatest well-being of all require that the
political jurisdiction should, as far as possible, be commensurate with
that commercial, industrial, and social dependence which works itself
out to a large degree of fulfilment in spite of the obstructions
interposed by the contractedness and isolation of political

As we have seen, this dependence of one industrial section upon another,
and of one commercial centre upon another, as the result of commercial
and industrial specialization, is becoming more and more marked as a
development of human progress. All this increases the need for more
extensive political organization, while at the same time it makes it

It will readily be perceived that since industrial and commercial
development is necessitating dependence and unity, it is equally true
that the natural varieties of soil and climate are, also, conditions of
like dependence and unity. When these diversities of soil in different
sections are fully developed, and the exchange of products readily made
through improved commercial facilities, and human wants multiplied by
means of civilized culture, agricultural specialization creates the
demand, not for political division and isolation, but for more extensive
organization. That New England manufactures is no reason that she should
separate her government from that of the other States, but just the
reverse. That the Middle States are more distinctively a mining region,
and the great West agricultural, is no reason that their general
government should be distinct, but precisely the reverse. That the South
produces cotton, rice, and sugar, is no reason for her seceding from the
Union, but exactly the reverse. These diversified interests, we repeat,
create interrelation and dependence, unitizing the commercial and
industrial polity; and the political organization should, as far as
possible, be coextensive therewith. There are physical necessities which
prevent the formation and maintenance of a comprehensive political
organization in the earlier stages of civilization, but these never have
obtained in the United States, and every hour's improvement carries us
farther beyond them.

All the results of a progressive civilization are constantly
complicating the dependence and interrelation of various sections of our
country. Roads, railroads, canals, and lines of telegraph, by their
connections and intersections, are so many bonds of union between the
various districts of our country--so many bonds of union between the
various States of the confederacy--and forbid its dissolution. Even
Nature conspires with civilization to the same end. The great valleys
and rivers running north and south are so many natural ties, which the
most incorrigible perverseness, on the part of man, could alone prevent
from performing the office to which they seem so happily adapted in the
play of the civilized elements.

As we have seen in our brief view of Europe, greater political
unitization has been the result of growth in civilization. In the United
States, all natural, commercial, and industrial bonds of union are
becoming more fully developed. This evinces the direction of progress.

What, in the light of this view, are we to think of the doctrine of
'secession'?--of secession, that political dogma of recent development,
which, if made practical, would destroy all political unity of greater
compass than a State--a State, the idol of Southern political worship.
It would break any confederacy into fragments, and prevent the
consummation of those great unities which an advancing civilization
demands. This doctrine of 'secession' would remand us back to the
condition of affairs in Europe during the twelfth century, before
commerce, the Crusades, and the waking up of intelligence had commenced
the movement of national organization. The Southern States have a
barbarian institution in their midst, but, not satisfied with that, they
would inaugurate the practical operation of a new political doctrine,
which must introduce still another element of barbarism, and interpose
an additional obstacle to the progress of civilization. Shall this be?
It is opposed to the political tendency of the times; and the common
sense of mankind should forbid the acceptance of a political solecism in
the organization of government, which virtually annuls the unity and
integrity of the government itself.

There are crises, however, in human development, when the movement is
rapidly set forward; and others, when it may be as suddenly arrested or
thrown back, requiring long periods to regain the lost ground,
preparatory to a new advance. Our Union, only a brief while since,
appeared to be upon the point of irreparable rupture; the division of
this great Union into minor geographical districts, like the European
monarchies, seemed to be imminent. The determination of the South to
secede; a large portion of the influential press at the North pleading
their cause; Buchanan favoring secession; many in the North, then, and
for a long time previous, in favor of a 'peaceable separation;'
but--thanks to the blind impetuosity of 'Southern chivalry'--with the
fall of Sumter, and the inauguration of the war, the only hope for this
Union revived! Wicked or foolish people have said that the bombardment
of Sumter was the death-knell of the Union;--we believe it was just the
reverse;--as the turning point of a great crisis, it signalled the birth
of a new era. It threw the trimming and temporizing politicians of the
North off their old tracks, and tore their platforms from under them;
their antipathies were suddenly neutralized; their prejudices vanished;
they were unexpectedly floating anew on the sea of public sentiment; the
opinions of influential men were subject to a new ordeal; and the views
of many an entire clique, faction, and party were revolutionized in a
day. Northern pride was wounded; Anglo-Saxon energy was aroused; there
was a demand for determination and 'pluck,' and the result is known to
all. Secession, in the Free States, was suddenly transformed; there was
a grand uprising for the vindication of a great principle of political
development; and nearly a million of armed men of all parties are now in
the field; and God grant that they may be able to overcome the abettors
of a barbarian policy!

But if the cause of patriotism and civilization should fail in this
struggle, what will be the consequences? Standing armies, stronger
governments, leagues, and ruptures, internecine wars, European
interference. Let this division of our once happy country be consummated
now, and there can be no reunion for ages. The Southern nation
recognized by European Governments, treaties and alliances formed, and
we are involved in European complications through which the separation
will be perpetuated. And this disunion made permanent, others will
develop themselves, and in time be consummated. It is the interest of
the reigning dynasties in Europe to see our nation dismembered: the
South would be our rival; and we should not have power to enforce union
hereafter. When a politico-geographical weakness is developed along the
Rocky Mountains, the Pacific States will not be without ambitious
demagogues to attempt the establishment of an independent organization
on the Pacific. Another fracture may be developed along the Alleghanies,
and the great agricultural West may set up for itself among the nations.
New England may be seized with a like madness, and unworthily aspire to
a separate national existence. With all these petty nations on this
continent, there must be standing armies, leagues, and complications, as
in Europe. Diplomacy, with its intrigues, and wars to maintain the
'balance of power,' will make up the great body of national history and
absorb those energies which should be employed in advancing the means of
human well-being.

But we will not speculate upon probabilities so remote. We will presume
the success of rebellion, and one nation south, another north. The evil
would still be very great. There must be armed thousands maintained by
the two Governments to be ready for war at any moment. Two such nations,
even if both were free, and still less with slavery in one of them,
could not exist by the side of each other without frequent broils and
collisions. Standing armies exhaust the resources of nations and retard
the progress of civilization by a double result. They withdraw
able-bodied men from the productive energies of the country, and are at
the same time a tax upon the industrial forces which remain. The
enormous daily expense of the present war must give us some idea of the
cost of maintaining a standing army of two or three hundred thousand men
even in times of peace. This has done a great deal to retard the
progress of Europe; and that we, as a nation, have heretofore been free
from this encumbrance, is doubtless one of the reasons why we have made
such rapid strides in so much that makes a nation great and happy. But
standing armies imply war, and the international wars of Europe have
done much to exhaust her resources and paralyze her prosperity. Guizot
says--and we may see it in history for ourselves--that 'for nearly three
centuries, foreign relations form the most important part of history.'
Foreign relations, wars, treaties, alliances, alone occupy the attention
and fill the page of history. Sad result of the political divisions of a
continent! Unhappy fruits of maintaining the balance of power among
neighboring nations! Let this continent be warned! And now is the
crisis when this warning needs most to be heeded. And even if this
critical juncture should be safely passed, we have need to guard against
others, and these truths should be universally recognized as elements of
our national preservation. We may profit by the shipwreck of others, to
avoid the rock on which they split. There are causes clearly discernible
in the history of Europe, for the divisions of that continent, which do
not now, and never have obtained here. Her political institutions were
developed out of the chaos of barbarism, and she had to unite smaller
jurisdictions into larger ones; and she did this as well as the status
of civilization would permit at the period when national organization
was effected.

The facilities of intercourse between a people, for the transmission of
intelligence, for travel and transportation--those accompaniments of
civilization which bring remote sections of country near each other and
bind them together; the resemblance or the difference of languages
spoken; the antipathies, prejudices, sympathies of the peoples--all
these are elements which go to determine the geographical extent of a
nation. Original difference of language, local prejudices, the want of
civilization, contributed to limit the European nationalities to the
small extent of territory which, for the most part, they occupy. These
causes have not operated against us. Local distinctions on account of
language do not even obtain here. There are no real causes to contract
the geographical boundaries of our Government; while, on the other hand,
the constant increase of facilities for the commercial and social
intercourse of one section with another, and the specializations of the
agricultural, manufacturing, and commercial interests, in the creation
of dependence between different sections of the country, demand, in the
name of science, common sense, justice, and the good of the people, that
this Government shall remain one and undivided.

We cannot, therefore, afford to allow the present or any other rupture
to become permanent, and entail upon ourselves and our children all the
disadvantages and calamities incident thereto. It would not be wise to
prepare the political stage of this country for the reënaction of the
tragedies of Europe. Better any sacrifice than this. Even if we should
lose great battles, or if European interference should threaten, it
would be better to rally the people anew even to the raising and
equipment of millions of men, and sustain the war at this enormous cost,
rather than entail division and its necessary calamities on the future
political life of this continent. This war is costing immensely in men
and property; but if, thereby, the integrity of the Union can be
maintained, it will be an economy both in men and means, if only a brief
period of the future be taken into the account. We are often reduced to
a choice of evils. War is a great evil, but it may prevent others still
greater. The indiscriminate arming of slaves and the spread of
incendiary fires would be great calamities, but nevertheless
justifiable, if the only means of selfdefence, or of preventing still
greater and more enduring calamities. But there need be no violation of
the ethics of war, no infringement of the rights of humanity. The North
is strong in its natural resources, strong in the justice of its cause:
it has risen to vindicate the cardinal law of civilization, and by this
shall it conquer. There appeared to Constantine a vision of the cross,
with the motto, 'By this conquer.' Science has descended in these last
days to dwell among mankind. In her hand is a scroll which she unfolds
before the nations, and they read, 'Unity, the consummation of social
and political destiny.' Thereupon, turning to our nation in the hour of
trial, she says: 'The time is approaching when the principle of
unitization must sweep a wider circle, and you are chosen to inaugurate
this new era in the destiny of nations. Thus far you have done well; be
true to the work so happily begun; carry it unflinchingly through this
ordeal, and you will be the greatest Power for good upon the earth.
There must be an extension of political organization--a widening of the
sphere of political unity; and through your example and influence will
the nations be gathered into a larger fold.' And pointing to the scroll,
she adds: 'Let 'Union' be eternally your motto; by this conquer!'

If we should apply no other than a superficial interpretation to
history, overlooking the great laws by which development proceeds, and
thence conclude that the world is to follow doggedly in the footsteps of
the past, we should anticipate a future far less beautiful in grand
results than Destiny has in store for the generations to come.

Are we to have the Empire of Rome or of Charlemagne over again? In the
Roman Empire there were no common interests; no representation; no
communication among the people; no intersection of the country by the
networks of roads--only great military roads leading from province to
province; no specialization of industrial and commercial interests; no
civilized dependence of one part on another; no natural ties as yet
developed to their real significance between the several countries of
the Roman Empire: it was held together by the strong and despotic arm of
Rome. The Empire of Charlemagne embraced the territory of Middle and
Western Europe, inhabited by barbarous peoples, isolated, warlike, and
speaking different languages; there were none of the civilized bonds of
union; only the genius of Charlemagne held them together; and upon his
death the huge fabric he had reared naturally fell to pieces. The
Spanish Empire is but another instance showing that geographical and
other elements of disconnection must not overbalance those which relate
remote sections to each other, and bind them together in a common
interest, else dissolution will be the result. In respect to the United
States, all these conditions are reversed. Every interest in the natural
course of development points to union--demands union, and, in the
triumph of justice, shall have union.

Is there anything in the way of this union? Is there a morbid growth--a
cause of irritation and disease tending to dissolution? Then, it must be
removed. Is ambitious and reckless demagoguism to be apprehended? Then
educate the people and diffuse science. But is there not still a worse
devil to be cast out? Where slavery is, you cannot educate the people,
you cannot diffuse science; and without enlightenment there can be no
political justice, since unprincipled demagogues will sway all political
destiny. Slavery cannot always exist side by side with freedom; it is
the natural enemy of union, the enemy of civilization. Prominent
secession leaders have admitted that slavery is the cause of this war,
boasting at the same time that the confederate constitution is founded
on a scientific distinction of races. Without slavery there could be no
sufficient motive for the independent national existence of the South.
Had there been no slavery, there had been no civil war. This is, at the
present time, the political significance of the institution. There is no
safety but in its extinction--so far at least as the border Slave States
are concerned, in order to overthrow its power in the United States
Senate, to enlarge the sympathies of freedom, and weaken and
circumscribe the chances for revolutionary movements which slavery will
be ready at any critical moment to precipitate against the Union.

If we have not misinterpreted the law of development, slavery, as it
exists in this country, is a morbid political condition, a social
disease, which stands in the way of the natural course of social
evolution. In this law, therefore, is written the doom of slavery. The
enlightened world will not always permit it to blast the fair field of
civilization by its poisonous presence.

There is a law of human movement by which predominating conditions
extend and perpetuate themselves, overcoming those which are weaker and
on the wane. We observed this in our brief survey of the feudal system.
Freedom is now in the ascendant, and slavery must go down. And since
secession is the child of slavery, and both at war with the cardinal
principles of progressive civilization, it is meet that both should fall

This war may not directly extinguish slavery, and it may; we do not see
the end. But if not directly, we believe the war is, nevertheless,
indirectly setting those forces into action which will eventually
extinguish the institution. If the 'confederacy' should be destroyed,
as, if not saved by foreign intervention, it certainly will be, slavery,
if not already dead, will be pent up, and, in that case, will soon die
by its own hands.

Immediate interests control us more than those which are remote;
interests which affect ourselves, more than those which affect our
descendants. Citizens of the Southern States, to save a petty individual
interest, are nursing in the bosom of society a malignant canker, which,
if let alone, must one day, in the inevitable course of destiny, eat
into its vitals. Heroic treatment will alone meet the demands of the
case. It must be a surgical operation that will penetrate to the very
roots of the invading tumor.

The salvation of the South itself, as well as of the Union, hangs upon
the extinction of slavery. Indeed, the South has far more interest than
the North in the restoration of political health as the condition of
political union; and she would see it so, if slavery had not made her
blind. The elimination of slavery would, in the end, be clear gain to
her, while she would reap equally with the North the advantages of
union, and escape the disadvantages and calamities which, as we have
seen, must inevitably follow in the wake of confirmed disunion.

The writer of this article bases his opposition to slavery solely upon
politico-scientific grounds; he urges the recognition of a great law of
human development, that its bearings on human destiny may be fairly
seen, and human endeavor more wisely directed to the achievement of the
end 'so devoutly to be wished.' The discussion of American Destiny in
all its ramifications would involve the discussion of the ultimate fate
of the negro race on this continent; but that is not within the range of
our present purpose. We have aimed only to indicate the law of
development from the simple to the complex, over which a necessary unity
at length prevails; to show that this law obtains in the political as in
all other realms; to insist that political unity should enlarge its area
as facilities for intercommunication permit, and the interrelation of
industrial, commercial, and social interests demand; that the
jurisdiction of the political unity should correspond to the extension
of general interests, so far as may be possible in the face of physical
necessities not yet overcome in the progress of civilization. We would
apply the doctrine more especially to the present crisis in American
affairs, to enable us to realize that all our sacrifices to maintain the
Union are fully warranted by the great principle of human development
which is involved in the contest.

If we have rightly interpreted history and the law, these sacrifices are
justified by a double consideration. The first, which is negative--to
avoid the entanglements, broils, and conflicts of neighboring nations,
and the consequent exhaustion of the resources of civilization, through
which its progress would necessarily be retarded; the second, which is
positive--to maintain a vast political organization on this continent in
accordance with the demands of a higher civilization, as the only sure
guarantee for the integrity of the 'Monroe doctrine,' and the
accomplishment of a great political mission, by reacting upon Europe,
and leading her isolated and fragmentary nationalities into a higher
unity, involving order, authority, and the economy of power.

It is the selfish interest of the crowned heads of the little nations of
Europe to maintain things as they are, with a principality and a palace
for each puppet of royalty. Hence their costly machinery for maintaining
the 'balance of power.' There may have been a use for this in the
ignorance of the masses, when the extension of sovereignty was often but
the increase of despotism; but there is no such need in the advanced
culture of the people and the progress of civilization. Formerly there
was no public sentiment; but, with the rise of civilized methods, it
became developed, and it has gradually enlarged its sphere, till, as a
writer on dynamical physiology remarks, 'we now hear of the public
opinion of Europe.' (Draper.) And we believe that, before this public
sentiment, thrones are doomed to topple, and sceptres and diadems to
fall, to make way for the more liberal and comprehensive political
organizations of an advancing and triumphant civilization. And herein
appears a glimpse of the political mission of the American Union,
destined itself to become still more comprehensive in the inevitable
fluctuation and change of the political elements. It is a hackneyed
theme that all the natural features of our country, its mountains,
rivers, valleys, lakes, are on a grand scale; it is, therefore, meet
that we should lead the civilized world in the movement of political

When Russia shall have more completely filled up the measure of her
civilization, and general intelligence shall have secured the liberty of
the subject, and laid forever the ghost of political absolutism, it may
become the mission of the younger nation to infuse new life into the
political system of Europe. With such a nation on the East, and a great
continental policy well advanced in the Western World, Middle and
Western Europe could hardly maintain its present divided, discordant,
and consequently feeble condition: there must be union then, if not
before. With Europe thus united, having outgrown the diplomatic
intrigues and exhausting wars of jealous and ambitious rulers, the dream
of 'universal peace' may realize the inauguration of its fulfilment, and
civilization come to have a meaning which, as yet, is folded up in the
bosom of prophecy--the clearer prophecy, we believe, of science and
history. We are confident that the prestige of the past and the earnest
of the future are for us and our cause; that our nation will not be torn
to pieces and sunk to the dead level of political imbecility, but will
victoriously avouch the integrity of American unity, and gradually gain
the advance in the grand march of civilization, and lead the nations for
hundreds of years to come!

We may well be proud that we are Americans, and that our lot is cast in
these times. Let us never abase our position by the least approach to
ignoble compromise; let us shrink from no responsibility; but acquit
ourselves as becomes an intelligent people conscious of a noble


   The Rose had bloomed in Eden. Odors new
   Entranced the groves; and iridescent birds,
   At this new birth of beauty, sudden rose
   In richest chorus, bearing up the balm
   Upon their beating wings. The bee had learned
   The place of golden sweets, the butterfly
   Loved well to dream within those crimson folds,
   And Eve had made a garland delicate,
   Of feathery sprays and leaves and drooping bells,
   And placed the Rose, the queen of bloom, above
   The centre of her brow. Thus she bound up
   The golden ripples that fell down and broke
   O'er her white breast, hiding the bosom buds,
   That never yet had yielded up their sweets
   To the warm pressure of an infant's lip.
   And Eve had bent above the glassy lake,
   Smiling upon her picture, pressing close
   The soft cheek of the Rose upon her own,
   And praising God for beauty and for life.

   But now a morn had come more strangely dear
   Than Eden yet had known. The sleeping wind
   Woke not to stir the fringes of the lake,
   Nor shook the odors from the scented plant.
   A silver, misty wreath closed fondly down
   Above the waveless tide. The insect world
   Lay waiting in the leaves, as though a spell
   Had hushed Creation; yet expectant thrills
   Ran through the silence, for the loaded air
   Grew lighter, purer, and the recent Rose
   Drooped her proud head in meekness, and the face
   Of heaven flushed with burning brilliancy,
   Above some coming wonder.

                                One by one
   The beasts and birds of Paradise came down,
   With noiseless movement, to the water's edge,
   And waited on the margin. Creatures huge,
   With honest, liquid eyes, and those that stepped
   With cushioned feet and feathered footfall, stole
   About the brink, with all the tribe that gave
   The forest life. The serpent reared its crest,
   Not yet polluted with the valley's dust,
   And stood like one with royal gems encrowned;
   While beast, and bird, and serpent turned to gaze
   Upon each other with inquiring eyes,
   And half-bewildered glance.

                      Then last of all
   Came Eve with Adam to the circling rim,
   Her fingers grasping roses, and her lip
   All beautiful with Love's own witchery.
   She stood and noted with admiring look
   The strength of Adam's form, the expansive chest,
   The sloping muscle, and the sinew knit,
   The firm athletic limb, and every grace
   Combined and joined in that first, perfect man.
   Then Eve, grown humble in her wondrous love
   Of Adam's beauty, knelt upon the turf,
   While her long hair fell down in shining waves,
   And pressed her lip upon his dew-washed feet:
   Then with her agitated fingers broke
   The foxglove pitcher from the stem, and stooped
   To fill it up for him; but quickly drew
   Her pearl-white hand away from the still lake,
   And held it o'er her heart, with such a look
   Of awe and mystery, as if a spell
   Was on the water, that she dared not break.

   So all was hushed and waiting; when, behold!
   A flash of gold shot from the silver East,
   A gush of new perfume spread through the grove,
   The Rose drooped lower, and the impatient birds,
   Loosed from restraint, sang in a strain refined
   Of dulcet clearness, such as those young bowers
   Had never heard before. The beast crouched down
   Upon the velvet turf, the serpent's crown
   Flashed richer splendor, and the angel-guard
   Whose fearful sword gleamed by the Tree of Life,
   His very plumes were tremulous with joy.

   Then Eve looked o'er the swelling wave, and, lo!
   The lake was overspread with blooming stars,
   Or snowy golden-centred cups, that rocked
   And spilled the choicest incense. Adam cried,
   'The Lily;' but the sweet voice at his side,
   Grown tremulous and faint with overjoy,
   Could only whisper, 'Purity.' Then quick,
   With restless hands, she culled the floral star--
   Queen of the wave--emblem of innocence,
   And hung it in the lion's matted mane,
   And twined it round the serpent's glittering neck;
   Thus humoring her fancy in the play
   Till half the morning hours had slipped and gone.
   Then, startled by the voice she loved so well,
   She left the sport, the creatures, and the flowers,
   And hastened back with Adam to the trees
   Where God was walking in the solemn shade.
   O mother frail, thou hast not known a tear!
   Thy spirit, clothed in simple innocence,
   Wears the true garb of bliss. Not yet thy hour
   Of sorrow and departure; nor the pangs
   And mystery of motherhood are thine!
   And yet, weak one! some day, because of thee,
   God's love shall give a Saviour to the world!


     'Do but grasp into the thick of human life! Every one _lives_
     it--to not many is it _known_; and seize it where you will, it is

     'SUCCESSFUL.--Terminating in accomplishing what is wished or
     intended.'--WEBSTER's _Dictionary._


     'I have been young and now I am old, and I bear my testimony that I
     have never found thorough, pervading, enduring morality with any
     but such as feared God--not in the modern sense, but in the old
     child-like way. And only with such, too, have I found a rejoicing
     in life--a hearty, victorious cheerfulness, of so distinguished a
     kind that no other is to be compared with it.'--JACOBI.


The first part of this narrative naturally closes with the termination
of our hero's career at Burnsville, and his establishing himself as a
resident of New York.

Up to this period, he has had no great difficulty in making his conduct
consistent with his religious professions. He certainly has striven with
a species of conscientiousness to do so, and we repeat, he has achieved
his object.

Now, however, he is embarking on a very different sea from the quiet,
placid waters of his village life. Here, Hiram Meeker, you will
encounter many and frequent temptations to _do_ wrong. For you are soon
to commence on your "own account," and then you must prepare for that
mortal struggle, in which none, without the grace of God to aid them,
can come off victors.

Hiram understands this: that is, he has been educated to believe it.
Surely he enjoys saving grace. Who more constant at church and evening
meetings; who prays longer and more vigorously than he?

Let me repeat that Hiram has a strong desire to enter the kingdom of
Heaven, and thinks that all the chances are in favor of his doing so.
But this desire is of the same nature as his wish to become rich. It is
founded on the determination to promote the fortunes of the individual
_me_, here and hereafter. It leads him to treat as a _principle_ the
statement of _fact_, that "honesty is the best policy;" and his policy
is--Self. He can practically master the theory of cause and effect as to
what is going on _here_. And since he believes he will secure a good
position in the world to come by strict observance of the "ordinances,"
he considers himself all right _there_.

It is with entire complacency, then, that Hiram Meeker sets sail in New
York. He is young, and, as the word goes, handsome; with good health,
strong nerves, an enduring frame, and excellent constitution. He is well
educated, and has a remarkable capacity for affairs, with sufficient
experience in business to qualify him for any mercantile career he
chooses to enter on. Moreover, in all the relations of life, he
professes to be governed by the highest possible principle--Christian
principle; and claims to be, indeed really is, at least theoretically, a
believer in the truths of our holy religion. Why is it, then, reader,
you have already taken such a prejudice against Hiram? For I know, as it
were instinctively, that you are prejudiced against him. Indeed, I
confess that in preparing his history for the press, I have
unconsciously permitted certain comments to creep in, indicating my own
feelings toward the young man. But, in fact, I could not help it,
especially when I came to narrate Hiram's course toward Sarah Burns.

But here in New York, I begin to feel a painful interest for young
Meeker. He is at the "parting of the ways." Up to now, there has been no
great strain on his moral sense, while he has not been altogether
insensible to humanizing influences. He has been thus far in the service
of others, and had wisdom enough to understand it was best for him to
serve with fidelity. Thus, his sense of duty did not conflict with his
interests, and he won golden opinions from all.

Probably, when he left Burnsville, but one person thoroughly knew
him--that person was Sarah Burns. For it is given to those whose hearts
are honestly _devoted_, in time to learn and fully comprehend the nature
of the hearts brought in contact with theirs.

The young ladies universally recalled their delightful flirtations with
Hiram with a sort of pleasurable regret, in which no angry feelings
toward him were mingled. Even Mary Jessup looked back with a sentimental
sigh, but not with any feeling of bitterness, to the period when she was
so happy with "young Meeker, boarding at their house." The Hawkins girls
still severally had their secret hopes in the future. [As to the widow
Hawkins, I cannot say.] But nobody understood the young man except Sarah
Burns. _He_ knew that, and when he drove away from her door, he felt he
was _found out_.

I am getting from my subject, which is Hiram's dangerous situation, now
that he has reached New York. One thing much to be regretted is that he
has resolved, at least for the present, to adjure society, in his entire
devotion to his main purpose. This is an alarming feature. For
notwithstanding, in his intercourse with the sex, he had sought entirely
his own pleasure, still it was not without its qualifying influences.
His mind was diverted from a perpetual thought of how he should get
rich, and nature (I mean the nature common to us all) was permitted to
have a certain sway.

When Hiram stepped foot in the metropolis, he cut off these diverting
elements. He decided, and he had long and carefully considered it, that
in the strife in which he was soon to enter, he should require all his
time, all his faculties. For this reason, he determined to accept Mr.
Eastman's offer of board and lodging at his house, albeit his wife was
shrewish and generally disagreeable. He no longer permitted the gay
throng in Broadway to move his nerves or excite his senses. And thus all
these secondary impulses and emotions and sentiments yielded to the one
main controlling purpose.

Yes, Hiram Meeker, I feel a painful interest in your situation. I see
that, once entered on your career, there will be no departure or
deviation or pause in it. As in metal poured into the mould, which,
while it remains in a fluid state, is capable of being converted into
other forms, but which, after a time, fixes and becomes
unchangeable,--so, in the life of every human being, there is a period
when the aims and purposes are fixed and the character is settled
forever. With some, this comes earlier, with others later; but it comes
inevitably to all of us.

It seems to me Hiram is fast approaching this epoch, and this is why my
interest in him becomes painful. For after this--but I will not


The first thing which Hiram undertook after getting settled at his
boarding place, was to decide what church to attend. This was a matter
which required a great deal of deliberation, and week after week he
visited different churches of his own faith.

Mr. Bennett, with his family, went to an Episcopal church. He took the
liberty, one day, of flatly advising his cousin to cut Presbyterianism,
and go with him.

'The fact is, Hiram, I can't stand the blue lights; they make a
hypocrite of you, or a sniveller. Now, I don't profess to be a good
person, but I think, after all, my neighbors know about where to find
me. As to the Episcopalians, they give us good music, good prayers, and
short sermons. They don't come snooping about to find out whether you go
sometimes to the theatre, or if any of your family practise the damnable
sin of dancing at parties. They mind their own business, and leave you
to mind yours.'

'What _is_ their business?' asked Hiram.

Mr. Bennett, taken a little aback, hesitated a moment; then he replied,
'Why, to preach and read the service, and perform church duties

'Well,' said Hiram, 'I always thought it was a part of a minister's duty
to look after the spiritual welfare of every one of his church, and to
visit the families, and converse with all the members.'

'You forget you're not in the country, where everything is got up on an
entirely different basis,' replied Mr. Bennett. 'You won't find much
'pastoral' work here, even among the blue lights. They confine
themselves to preaching brimstone sermons from the pulpit and at evening
lectures, and giving orders about the management of your family and
mine, taking care that nobody shall enjoy anything if they can help it.
If you go to see a play, it is a plunge into Tophet; if you permit your
child to tread a quickstep to a lively tune, both you and your child are
fit subjects for the wrath to come.'

'I rather think you are mistaken when you say the Episcopalians approve
of the theatre and late parties, and so forth,' retorted Hiram. 'I have
been told by two or three of that persuasion, that the clergy object
decidedly to all these things.'

'Gammon, Hiram--gammon for the country market. I tell you, I know that
we can do just what we please in the way of 'rational amusement,' as our
clergyman calls it, and your people can't, and I advise you to come over
to the liberal side.'

Hiram shook his head.

'Well, if you won't, I recommend Dr. Pratt. He, I understand, permits a
little fun occasionally; then he makes use of our prayers, commits them
to memory, you know; and latterly has put on a gown, and has a little
boy to open the door of his pulpit. I advise you to go there.'

'Thank you,' said Hiram; 'but I don't think I should relish that kind of
a man. I prefer something decided one way or the other.'

'Then take Dr. Chellis, he's your chap. Boanerges! a regular son of
thunder. Egad, I believe he _does_ visit every soul of his flock--keeps
them straight. The other evening he was invited to a little gathering at
the house of a new comer in his congregation--he always accepts
invitations, and they say he is very fond of oysters and chicken salad,
though he drinks nothing but cold water;--well, it happened the young
folks wanted to get up a quadrille, began to arrange it innocently
enough before his face and eyes. Thereupon he jumped up in a huff, and
flung himself out of the house, and the next Sunday delivered an extra
blast on the 'immoral tendencies of the dance.'

'That's the man for me,' said Hiram, firmly.

Mr. Bennett regarded his protegé with a keen, inquisitive glance, with a
view to fathom him, if possible. It would seem that the result was
unsatisfactory, for after a moment he exclaimed, 'Well, I confess I
don't exactly see through you. It may be one sort of thing; it may be
another; but I can't say which.'

'It is a very simple matter, Mr. Bennett. I was brought up strictly, and
believe in my bringing up.'

'All right, if you mean it.'

'I do mean it. Besides, now that I have come to New York to reside,
where I shall be subjected to the numerous temptations of a city life, I
shall need more than ever to be under the preaching of just such a man
as you describe Dr. Chellis to be.'

'Oh, don't; that is coming it too strong; now I think I _do_ understand
you. But, Hiram, drop all that sort of thing. If you want to join
Chellis's church, join it; but talk your cant to the marines.'

Hiram was angry, but he said nothing.

'You must not be vexed, Hiram. You know I want to do you all the good I
can. Recollect, if you are smart, you have much to learn yet. Let me
have your confidence, and I will advise you according to my experience.
If you really like severe preaching, you can't do better than go in for
the Doctor. He has the richest congregation in New York. Allwise, Tenant
& Co., Starbuck & Briggs, Daniel Story. Those are names for you;
South-street men, too, in your line. They are the pillars of Chellis's
church; good men and true, if they are blue lights. Besides, there are
lots of pretty girls--tight little Presbyterian saints, with plenty of
cash. Their fathers can buy and sell Dr. Pratt's congregation and mine
together. Yes, you are right; I wonder I did not think of it. Go in for

Hiram was still silent. His heightened color and severe expression
showed how little he relished Mr. Bennett's conversation.

Nothing is so disagreeable to a person whose nature is not thoroughly
genuine, but who claims to act from proper motives, as to have another
take it for granted he is not doing so.

He did not forget a word that Mr. Bennett had said, though. Indeed, he
recovered his equanimity so far as to thank him for his suggestions,
and, wishing him good-day, he started for his place in South street.

Mr. Bennett watched the young man as he walked up the street (the
conversation occurred in the doorway of H. Bennett & Co.'s
establishment), and until he had turned the corner. 'Deep, very deep,'
he muttered as he stepped inside. 'He'll be 'round one of these days, or
I am mistaken.'

Meanwhile Hiram continued on his way to the store, his cheeks burning
under the influence of Mr. Bennett's plain talk, but sensibly alive to
the description of Dr. Chellis's church.

'Allwise, Tenant & Co., eh? and Starbuck & Briggs (Hiram had been but a
few weeks in New York, and already had learned to pay that almost
idolatrous deference to great commercial names which is a leading
characteristic of the town); that will do. Plenty of rich girls,'--his
heart began to beat quick,--'plenty of rich girls. That's the place for

Strange, in this soliloquy he said nothing about the spiritual
advantages to be derived under the preaching of so noted a divine as Dr.
Chellis. Yet Hiram really liked strong preaching and severe discipline.
For he never appropriated any of the denunciations. Feeling perfectly
safe himself, it gratified him to hear the awful truths severely
enforced on the outsiders.

We see, however, from this little conversation with himself, what was
uppermost in Hiram's mind. Subsequent inquiries, carefully made of
various persons, fully confirmed the statement of Mr. Bennett as to
these little particulars in relation to Dr. Chellis's church and

Dr. Chellis himself was a person of extraordinary ability, great purity
of character, and great zeal. At this period he was about sixty years of
age, but he possessed the earnestness and energy of a young man. His
congregation were very much attached to him, and it is true he exercised
over them a remarkable influence. Many people sneered, accusing them of
'being led by the nose by their minister.' They were led, it is true,
but not in that way: rather by their understanding and their affections.
For, strict and stern and severe as the 'old Doctor' appeared to be, it
was the _sin_ he thundered against, not the individual. And those who
were brought in more intimate contact with him, declared that he was,
after all, a kind, tender-hearted man.

His church were devoted to him. The majority were a severe, toilsome,
self-denying company--too much so, perchance; but of that I dare hazard
no opinion: God knows. Like their minister, sincere, indulging in no
cant; without hypocrisy, practising in the world during the week the
principles they professed on Sunday to be governed by; a church
deserving to be honored for its various charities (it gave twice as much
as any other in the city), for the personal liberality of its members
when called on to join in public or private subscriptions, and for the
exalted influence they exerted in affairs generally.

Into such a church, and among such a people, Hiram Meeker proposes to
introduce himself.

       *       *       *       *       *

His first move was to call on Dr. Chellis without any introduction, and
present his credentials from the church in Burnsville, as well as an
excellent letter from his minister, certifying particularly as to his
religious character and deportment. He thought by going as an
unsophisticated youth from the country he would make a better impression
and more strongly commend himself to the Doctor's sympathy than in any
other way.

I think, however, that Hiram's call was rather of a failure. He had no
ordinary man to deal with. Dr. Chellis had not only a profound knowledge
of human nature, but a quick insight into its various peculiarities. He
could classify individuals rapidly; and he read Hiram after fifteen
minutes' conversation.

The latter, not accustomed to men of the Doctor's calibre, found himself
wanting in his usual equanimity. His familiar rôle did not serve, he
could see that, and for once his resources failed him.

For the Doctor did not appear to be specially interested when Hiram,
apropos of nothing, except as a last card, undertook, in a meek,
saint-like manner, to give him an account of his early conviction of sin
and subsequent triumphant conversion. Indeed, if the truth must be told,
the worthy divine gave evident symptoms--to speak plainly--of being
bored before Hiram's story was half finished! The latter was not slow to
see this, and he found it difficult to rally.

At length he gave the Doctor an opportunity to speak, by bringing his
personal narrative to a close.

'You have no acquaintances in the city?'

'I think I may say none, except in business; and my object in selecting
such a church as yours is to keep up the same degree of piety which I
humbly trust I maintained in my village home.'

[Pretty well, Hiram, pretty well--but you have an old head to deal
with, and an honest heart: be careful.]

'To do that,' replied the Doctor, gravely, 'you must not look back to
what you were, or thought you were. Be sure you are in danger when you
feel complacent about yourself.'

These were awful words to Hiram, and from such a severe, grave,
dignified old man.

'In danger!' That was something new. 'Of what?' Why, no thought of a
possibility of danger had crossed young Meeker's mind since the day he
joined the church in Hampton.

He sat quite still, uncertain what reply to make.

He was interrupted by the tones of the Doctor's voice--tones which were
modified from their previous severity.

'I will take your letter,' he said, 'and at the next communion, which
will take place in about six weeks, you will be admitted to membership.'

'I should like to have a class in the Sunday school,' said Hiram,
breathing more freely.

'If you will speak next Sunday to Mr. Harris, the superintendent,'
replied the Doctor, 'he will furnish you with one. There is a demand for
teachers just at present, I heard him say.'

Dr. Chellis rose, as if Hiram had taken up enough of his time. Our hero
could but do the same. He bowed and left the room.

'A pretty sort of minister that,' exclaimed he between his teeth, as he
quitted the house. 'Pious! no more pious than my boot. Never listened to
a word I said. I know he didn't. Is it possible I must sit under this
man's preaching? I see now what cousin Bennett meant by things being got
up on an entirely different basis here from what they are in the
country. I should think they were. But there is Allwise, Tenant & Co.,
Daniel Story. I may trust myself with such names [he did not say with
such _men_]. Ah! h'm--h'm--lots of pretty girls, with plenty of cash.
I'll try it. Anyhow, it stands number one. No mistake about that!


Hiram soon learned a lesson. He discovered there were people in New York
just as quickwitted, as keen, and as shrewd as he was himself. This did
not alarm him. Not a bit. He was only the more ready to appreciate the
truth of Mr. Bennett's remark, that he had yet much to learn.

'I see it,' quoth Hiram. 'The city gets the best of everything, by the
natural course of supply and demand. Yes, it gets the best beef and
mutton and fowls, and fruits and vegetables, and on the same principle
it commands the best men. Well, I like this all the better. It was dull
business in Burnsville, after all, with nobody to compete with. Give me
New York!'

       *       *       *       *       *

In the store of Hendly, Layton & Gibb, Hiram saw and conversed with
shipmasters who were familiar with every port in the world. The reader
will recollect, at school he had devoted himself to mercantile
geography. Thus he had located in his mind every principal seaport, and
had learned what was the nature of the trade with each. The old sea
captains were amazed at the pertinence of Hiram's questions, and with
the information he possessed on topics connected with their business.
They could scarcely understand it. It gave them a great respect for the
'fellow,' and Hiram speedily became a favorite with them all. He used to
like to go on board their ships, and chat with them there, whenever he
found time. Do not suppose these were mere pleasure excursions. Hiram
Meeker was forming his opinion of each one of these captains. For in his
mind's eye he saw some of them in _his_ employ; but which? that was the
question. So by mingling with them, he learned much of the mechanical
part of commerce, and he discovered, besides their different characters,
who were competent and honest, and who were not altogether so.

Hiram also spent a good deal of his time conversing with Eastman, with
whom he boarded. He got the latter's ideas of business and about the men
they daily encountered, and Eastman could furnish a fund of valuable
information, based on long experience.

Hiram all this time was indefatigable. He watched the course of trade.
He endeavored to discover the secret of the success of the great South
street houses. He worked, he pondered, and yet all the time served
Hendly, Layton & Gibb with fidelity. Eastman became attached to him.
Mrs. Eastman said the man did not give her half the trouble she
expected. So you see, in certain quarters, Hiram was as popular as ever.

Meantime he had secured a seat in and joined Dr. Chellis's church. He
duly presented himself at the Sunday school and obtained a fine class.
From that time he never missed a service on Sunday, nor a lecture, or
prayer meeting, or other weekly gathering. He even attended a funeral
occasionally, in his zeal to 'wait' on all the ordinances. He was,
however, exceedingly modest and unobtrusive. He did not seek to make
acquaintances, but no one could help noticing his punctilious regularity
and decorum. I have remarked that Hiram determined to cut off what had
been a great source of pleasure--society; but he still paid the same
attention to his personal appearance as before. After a while questions
began to be asked: 'Who is this new comer, so constant, so devout, and
so exemplary?'

'What a fine-looking fellow! I wonder who he is?' whispered Miss Tenant
to Miss Stanley, one morning, as our hero passed their seats (they both
had classes) to take his place with his Sunday school pupils.

'I don't know, I am sure,' replied her friend.

'I can't find any one who does. Do you know, _I_ think he is real

'So do I, if he would only lift his head up and look people in the face;
he is as bashful as a sheep.'

'My little brother is in his class, and he says they all like him so
much. He takes such an interest in his pupils.'

'Then I should think you could find out something about him.'

'No: his name is Meeker; that's all any one seems to know.'

'Funny name; I don't like it.'

'Nor I. Still, we won't condemn him for his name. Besides, I like his


Here the conversation of the two young people was interrupted by the
rapping of the superintendent, and the services of the school commenced.

If young ladies of the importance of Miss Tenant and Miss Stanley begin
to talk about Hiram, you may be certain it will spread through the
school and into the church. _He_ knew what was going on--of course he
did; but only took still greater pains with his personal appearance, and
became more shy and reserved and assiduously devout.

The elders of the church could not help noticing him.

The young ladies noticed him.

Heads of families observed his exemplary deportment.

Who could he be?

Dr. Chellis, meantime, did not lose sight of his new communicant. They
frequently met, and Hiram was always greeted, if not with cordiality,
yet kindly. Strange to say, contrary to his habit, the Doctor neglected
or omitted to enter into conversation with Hiram on religious topics. He
felt a repugance to doing so which he could not explain. Everything
seemed so praiseworthy in Hiram's conduct, that one would suppose the
worthy divine would like to engage him in conversation, as the Rev. Mr.
Chase used to do at Burnsville. But a certain aversion prevented it.

When applied to for information about Hiram, the Doctor could say
nothing, for he knew nothing; and so the mystery, for a mystery the
young ladies determined to make of it, increased.

At last a rumor was circulated that Hiram had been disappointed in a
love affair. A mischief-loving girl detailed it to Miss Tenant, whose
interest in the young Sunday school teacher gradually grew stronger, and
it soon became a well-authenticated piece of history.

       *       *       *       *       *

During this time a species of intimacy was growing up between Hiram
Meeker and Hill. An odd companionship, you will say; but they seemed to
get along very well together. The latter, as you may remember, was a
wild, reckless fellow. He had his good traits, though. There was nothing
mean in his composition, but much that was impulsive and generous. He
never laid up a penny, and was always in debt. It was this unfortunate
habit which had kept him so long at Joslin's. He had got in advance of
his salary, and he would not quit till it was made up. When he left
there, he succeeded in getting a place in a large wine and liquor house;
for Hill's acquaintance was extensive, and in those days of
extraordinary 'drumming,' in which he was a great proficient, his
services were valuable. It was through Hill, as I have said, that Hiram
got his place at Hendly's, and after that he was in the habit of looking
in nearly every day on him toward the close of business hours.

I cannot precisely explain by what species of fascination this poor
fellow was attracted to Meeker. Doubtless it originated in the
triumphant resistance which the latter opposed to Hill's attempt on him
at their first acquaintance, and his complete victory over and
discomfiture of Benjamin Joslin, for whom Hill entertained a supreme
contempt. There was a mystery about the sources of Hiram's power which
completed the charm, and made Hill his willing subject, and afterward

But what did Hiram want of Hill? That would appear more difficult to
answer. He certainly did want something of him. For he encouraged his
coming often to see him, and talked with him a great deal. He even lent
him occasionally small sums of money. I repeat, what a droll
companionship! Hill, a swearing, drinking, godless scapegrace. Meeker, a
quiet, exemplary, religious, laborious young man.

Perhaps it was the rule by which opposites are attracted to each other.

Perhaps it was something else.

On the whole, I am inclined to think it was something else, on Hiram's
part at least. I believe he acted, with respect to Hill, as he did with
respect to everybody--from carefully considered motives. We shall see,
perhaps, by and by, how this was.

Eastman used to wonder that Hiram should tolerate Hill's society. To be
sure, he himself had a sort of family regard for him. But his presence
always annoyed him. He even expressed his surprise to Hiram, who replied
by making use of the moral argument. He was sorry for the poor fellow.
He hoped to do him some good. Possibly he might be able to bring him
under better influences. Certainly Hill would not harm _him_, while, on
the contrary, he (Hill) might be benefited.

Hiram did not tell the truth.

Really, if he had dared to stop and inquire of himself, he would be
forced to acknowledge that he did _not_ want Hill to be different from
what he was. Then he would not serve his purpose. To be sure, sometimes,
when Hill permitted an extra strong oath to escape his lips, Hiram would
fidget and look uneasy, and beg his visitor to break himself of such a
wicked habit. But the secret of Hiram's power did not lie in his _moral_
influence certainly, for Hill's habit of swearing did not improve,
indeed it grew worse.

In this way passed our hero's first year in New York.


We publish the principal part of the speech of Hon. R. J. Walker,
against nullification and secession, made at the great Union meeting at
Natchez, Mississippi, on the first Monday of January, 1833. We republish
this speech from the Natchez _Mississippi Journal_ of that date. Upon
that speech, Mr. Walker became the Union candidate for Senator of the
United States from Mississippi against Mr. Poindexter, a Calhoun
nullifier and secessionist. After a three years' contest of unexampled
violence, Mr. Walker was elected on the 8th of January, 1836. So
distinct was the issue, that the Legislature of Mississippi declared
nullification and secession to be treason. The contest was conducted by
Mr. Walker by speeches in every county, with the banner of the Union
waving over him, and to the music of our national airs.

We republish this speech now because it preceded Mr. Webster's great
reply to Calhoun, and because its arguments are applicable to the
present contest. This speech drew out Gen. Jackson's celebrated letter,
heretofore published, in favor of Mr. Walker; and the speech received
the cordial approval of ex-President Madison. By reference to the
Washington city _Globe_ of the 12th August, 1836, it will be found that,
in conversation with Mr. Ingersoll, 'Mr. Madison spoke very freely of
nullification, which he altogether condemned, remarking that Mr. Walker,
of the Senate, in a speech he had made on some occasion, was the _first
person_ who had given to the public what he (Mr. Madison) considers the
true view of Mr. Jefferson's language on that subject.' Mr. Webster gave
the Whig arguments against nullification and secession, Mr. Walker the
democratic; but they both arrived at the same conclusions:

Never, fellow citizens, did I rise to address you with such deep and
abiding impressions of the awful character of that crisis which involves
the existence of the American Union. No mortal eye can pierce the veil
which covers the events of the next few months, but we do know that the
scales are now balancing in fearful equipoise, liberty and union in the
one hand, anarchy or despotism in the other. Which shall preponderate,
is the startling question to which we must all now answer. Already one
bright, one kindred star is sinking from the banner of the American
Union, the very fabric of our government is rocking on its foundations,
one of its proudest pillars is now moving from beneath the glorious
arch, and soon may we all stand amid the broken columns and upon the
scattered fragments of the Constitution of our once united and happy
country. Whilst then we may yet recede from the brink of that precipice
on which we now stand, whilst we are once more convened as citizens of
the American Union, and have still a common country, whilst we are yet
fondly gazing, perhaps for the last time, upon that banner which floated
over the army of Washington, and living beneath that Constitution which
bears his sacred name, let us at least endeavor to transmit to
posterity, unimpaired, that Union, cemented by the blood of our
forefathers. The honorable gentleman who has preceded me, in opposition
to the resolutions submitted for your consideration, tells us that he
was nursed in the principles of '76 and '98--that these are the
principles of Carolina, and that they ought to be maintained. Let me
briefly answer, that the humble individual who now addresses you is the
son of a soldier of the Revolution, and that from the dawning of
manhood, from his first vote to his last, at all times, and upon all
occasions, he has supported and will support the principles of
democracy, and the doctrines of '76 and '98. But it was under the banner
of the Union that the whigs of '76 and '98 achieved their glorious
triumphs; and is that the standard now unfurled by the advocates of
nullification? It is true, we find nullification declared in the
Kentucky resolutions to be a rightful remedy--but nullification by whom?
by a single State? no--by those sovereignties the several States, in the
mode prescribed by the Constitution, by a declaratory amendment
annulling the power under which the law was passed. This would be a
remedy in fact; for it would operate equally on all the States; but can
the same act of Congress be constitutional in one State, and
unconstitutional in another? South Carolina declares the Tariff
unconstitutional--Kentucky declares it valid; is it nullified or not? is
it void or valid? The South Carolina theory gives to each State, of
itself, the unlimited power to pronounce ultimate judgment against the
validity of any act of Congress. If so, the Tariff must be valid in
Kentucky, and void in South Carolina. Yet if the Carolina ordinance,
nullifying the Tariff, be valid in that State, it is valid in every
other State, and Carolina may introduce foreign imports, once landed in
her own State, into every other State, free of all duty; for, by the
Constitution, 'no tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from
any State.' What then becomes of the ultimate judgment of Kentucky?
Nullified by a single State; and that is the nullification of South
Carolina, by which she can constitutionally, and as a member of the
Union, repeal any act of Congress she may deem invalid, and prescribe
her will for law throughout the limits of every other State. The
Constitution of the Union would then be this: _Be it enacted_, that the
American Congress shall possess such powers only as South Carolina
believes they may lawfully exercise; and the whole American people be
thus subjected to the government of the ordinances of a single State. Is
this democracy? The truth is, every act of Congress is intrinsically
void or valid, from its repugnance to or consonance with the provisions
of the American Constitution; nor can the judgment of a State render
void an act of Congress which is constitutional, or render valid an act
of Congress which is unconstitutional. Would the judgment of a single
State have rendered the alien and sedition law constitutional, or the
last war unconstitutional, or would the Supreme Court of the Union have
been compelled to render opposite judgment in a case brought before
them, declaring the citizen of Massachusetts bound to oppose, and of
Virginia to support either of these laws, as their respective States had
pronounced contradictory judgments upon them? Suppose Massachusetts had
not only declared the last war unconstitutional, but had passed an
ordinance requiring her citizens to resist the war, to prostrate and
oppose the armies of the Republic, and to aid a tyrant's myrmidons in
driving the steel deeper into the bosoms of our bleeding countrymen;
would the ordinance be constitutional, or would not the acts it required
to be performed be treason against the Government of the Union?

It is said a State cannot commit treason; no, but its citizens may; nor
would they be rightfully acquitted because sustained by the judgment of
a single State. If each State possesses an equal right to pass ultimate
judgment upon any act of Congress, and two States enact ordinances
directly contradictory to the same law, do they not, like the meeting of
equal forces in mechanics, nullify each other? or must the same law be
enforced in one State and disregarded in the other? Not without
violating the Constitution; for if New York pronounces the Tariff valid,
and South Carolina declares it void, and suits are instituted in each
State on bonds given for the payment of duties on imports introduced
into each, must the duties be collected in one State, but not in the
other? This would be to set at open defiance those clauses of the
Constitution which declare that all imposts 'shall be uniform throughout
the United States,' and that 'no preference shall exist in the
collection of revenue in the ports of one State over those of another.'
Upon an appeal from the decisions by the Federal district courts of New
York and Carolina, in the suits on the bonds for these duties, how would
the Supreme Court of the Union decide the question? by enforcing the
payment of the bonds given in Carolina? No; for that State had exercised
the right of ultimate judgment, and pronounced the law invalid; would
the court decide against the validity of the bond given in New York? No;
for that State, in exercising its equal right of pronouncing ultimate
judgment, had declared that the law was valid. Or would they enforce the
payments of the duties in New York and not in South Carolina? This, we
have seen, would violate both the clauses of the Constitution last
quoted. The only remaining judgment would be, to disregard the edict of
a single State, and to enforce the payment of the duties in both States,
or in neither, as the act of Congress might or might not be repugnant to
the provisions of the Constitution. If Kentucky and Virginia thought
they possessed the power in regard to the alien and sedition laws now
claimed by Carolina in regard to the Tariff, where is the ordinance
nullifying those laws? Or would they be nullified by resolutions
expressing only the judgment and opinion of the Legislature in regard to
the constitutionality of the law, as if the Legislature, one department
only of the Government of a single State, could annul all the laws of
the Union? Even South Carolina does not urge a doctrine so monstrous,
for she declares this can be done solely by the 'delegates' of the State
in 'solemn convention.' South Carolina finds, then, in the practice of
Virginia and Kentucky, no warrant for the doctrine of nullification. She
finds neither ordinance, nor test oaths, nor standing armies, nor packed
juries, nor secession, or threats of secession, from the Union. They
find Mr. Jefferson in that great emergency protesting against 'a
scission of the Union,' in any event; and the ordinance of South
Carolina would have received his unqualified abhorrence. But, if we are
asked to surrender the principles which alone can preserve the Union, on
the assumed authority of Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Madison, of Kentucky and
of Virginia--why do not the advocates of nullification tell us that Mr.
Jefferson, in 1821, as appears by his printed memoirs, emphatically
denied the right of a State to _veto_ an act of Congress; and Mr.
Madison, a surviving founder of the Constitution, and framer of the
Virginia resolutions, unequivocally denounces the doctrine of
nullification? And are they not safer guides than Messrs. McDuffie,
Calhoun, and Hamilton, the former of whom wrote and published in 1821,
and the latter deliberately sanctioned, in a laudatory preface, a series
of essays, denouncing this very doctrine of nullification as the
'_climax_ of political heresies'? Why do not those who would look to
Kentucky and Virginia as the only safe expositors of the Constitution
inform us also, that the great and patriotic commonwealth of Kentucky is
indignantly repelling the charge that nullification ever was sustained
by her authority? Why do they not point to the unanimous resolution of
the Virginia Legislature in 1810, declaring in the very case of a
nullification, by a law of Pennsylvania, of a power of the General
Government, that the Supreme Court of the Union is the tribunal,
'already provided by the Constitution of the United States, to decide
disputes between the State and Federal' authorities?' (See 'Sup. Rev.
Code of Virginia,' page 150.) These resolutions, directly affirming the
supremacy of the judgment of the Supreme Court of the Union over the
laws and judgment of a State, were adopted by Virginia within a few
months after the promulgation by that tribunal of its decree enforcing
the authority of the Union against the nullifying edict of a sovereign
State. Virginia did more: she not only affirmed the power of this
tribunal, and sanctioned its decree, but spoke of it in terms of the
highest eulogy, and scouted indignantly the proposition of Pennsylvania
to vest the right of deciding questions of disputed power and
sovereignty in some other tribunal than the Supreme Court of the Union.
The same proposition was treated with the open or silent contempt of
every State in the Union, South Carolina among the number; and
Pennsylvania receded, though she had passed a law commanding the
Governor of the State to prevent by an armed force the execution of the
process emanating under the authority of the Constitution of the
Union--though she placed her act upon the same ground as Carolina, that
the power exercised in that case had never been granted by the
Constitution to any department of the General Government. Thus ended
nullification in the keystone of the arch of the Union. That State,
which has ever sustained the Democracy of the South, in the election of
Jefferson, of Madison, and Monroe, and the cheering voice of whose
public meetings first called out as a candidate for the presidency the
patriot Chief Magistrate who now upholds the banner of the Union,
submitted to the law of the Union. And is nullification constitutional
in Carolina, but unconstitutional in Pennsylvania? Is the one a
_sovereign_ and the other a _subject_ State? Shall the one submit to the
laws of the Union, and not the other? Why, sir, if the people of
Pennsylvania could sustain a distinction so odious, the very shades of
their ancestors would rise from the battlefields of the Revolution, from
Paoli and Germantown, and call their children bondmen of Carolina,
vassals and recreant slaves! I speak not now of the whiskey
insurrection, when, at the order of Washington, the militia of Virginia
and of other States moved against the people of Western Pennsylvania,
under the command of the Governor of Virginia and Carolina, and the
nation approved the deed; but I speak of the period, during the
presidency of Mr. Jefferson, when the State of Pennsylvania passed a law
nullifying the powers of the General Government, under her reserved
right to construe the Constitution at her pleasure, when she was
compelled to yield to the laws of the Union, and her armed force,
assembled by her Governor under an edict of the State, was ineffectual.
Nullification was condemned by Jefferson and Madison, by Virginia and
Carolina, and the people of the Union; and must one State nullify and
not another? No, sir; all or none of the States must submit to the
supremacy of the Government of the Union; and if Carolina can
successfully resist that Government, will any other State submit to a
power which is thus insulted, disgraced, defied, and overthrown by the
edict of a single State, and which acts and exists only by its
permission? No, sir; one successful example of practical nullification
by a State destroys the Union; for it demonstrates that the Government
of the Union has no power to execute its laws, or preserve its
existence--_that it is not a government_, or that its powers are written
in sand, to be swept away by the first angry surge of passion that beats
over them. Such was the prediction of the despots of Europe, too soon to
be fulfilled if the fatal ordinance of Carolina is sustained, and the
flag of the Union struck down by the imperious mandate of a single
State. Let us, then, now teach those despots, who, pointing with
exultation to our dissensions, and anticipating our downfall, proclaim
that man is incapable of self-government, that the Union can and shall
be preserved, that we know that 'Union and Liberty are inseparable,'
that the name and privileges of American citizens are entwined with the
very ligaments of our hearts, that they are our birthright, the glorious
inheritance purchased by the blood of our forefathers, and never to be
surrendered by their sons; that we will all rally round the banner of
our country and sustain it, upon the ocean, on the land, in war and in
peace, against foreign or domestic enemies; or, if it must fall, it will
be upon the graves of Americans preferring death in its defence to life
without it, when the iron chains of despotism would bind them as slaves
to that soil which they would tread only as freemen.

It is said that the Government of the Union is but a league formed by
sovereign States. Did the States form it as governments? if so, which or
all of the departments of any State subscribed or ratified the compact?
or could the government of any State change the organic law, unless by a
power given them by the Constitution, or surrender the sovereign
attributes of power, and unite the people in a new government with other
confederates? No; the government cannot abolish or change its form or
transfer its powers to another government: this highest act of
sovereignty can only be performed by the people of a State; and it was
by the people of every State, acting in convention as separate and
distinct communities, that the Constitution was ratified and rendered
binding upon the people of all the States; and, in the language of Mr.
Jefferson, the Government thus formed was 'authorized to act immediately
on the people and by its own officers.' Was it then a league only? No,
it was what its framers, the people, as we have seen, and not the
governments of all the States, called it, a 'Constitution'--a
'Government;' and it is an overthrow of fundamental principles to say
that a 'constitution,' a 'government,' which is made 'the supreme law'
in all the States, could be created by any power less than the people of
the several States, but as the people of the States, and not in their
aggregate capacity. Whatever may be the theories of the advocates of
consolidation on the one hand, or nullification on the other, this is
certainly a true history of the manner in which the Government of the
Union was formed. The Constitution itself expressly declares that it
could be created only by 'the ratifications of the conventions of the
States;' and this Constitution was expressly rendered 'the supreme law
of the land,' 'anything in the constitution or laws of any State to the
contrary notwithstanding,'--as if the government of a State could render
their own constitution subordinate to another constitution. A return
then having taken place, in forming the Constitution, to the people of
all the States, as the primary fountain of power, they might have vested
all their sovereignty, or but a part of it, in one government; and they
might have given, in either event, the same power which exists in
ordinary governments of enforcing its laws when sustained as
constitutional by all its departments, subject only to the natural
rights of the people to revolutionize the government in case of
intolerable oppression. Certain important powers and attributes of
sovereignty the people of the States gave to this new government. They
made this government 'supreme' in the exercise of its powers in all the
States. They gave this government the sole power 'to declare war.' Did
the State then remain an absolute sovereign in that respect, and with
absolute power to judge if the object of the war was constitutional, and
annul the declaration? This new government had the sole power to lay and
_collect_ 'duties on imports;' did each State remain an absolute
sovereignty in this respect, and with absolute powers to judge if the
object of the duties was constitutional, and annul the law? The General
Government was the only sovereign as regards these powers; but a single
State, having none of these powers, is made the absolute judge whether
they can or cannot be exercised: then no powers have yet been granted to
the General Government by any State, if each possesses the right to
interdict the exercise of any of these powers. But, could this General
Government exist without the authority to give one uniform effect to the
execution of its powers in all the States? Created with all the organs
of a government, legislative, judicial, and executive, may it enact, but
not expound, or enact and expound, but not execute? Must it stop at the
boundary of each State, and ask what power it possesses, and act upon
the contradictory responses of each State? Must it possess one set of
powers in one State, and another and wholly opposite set of powers in
another State? May it lay a tariff in one State, and not in another, and
yet this tariff required to be uniform in every State? Is it one
constitution, and susceptible of one only true construction, or
twenty-four constitutions, with twenty-four various and contradictory
constructions, and all right, because all pronounced by absolute
sovereigns exercising the uncontrolled power of ultimate judgment? Has
it any powers, and what are they? Will Mississippi submit this question
to Massachusetts or Carolina, or is a government created whose powers
cannot be ascertained? Must anarchy govern? Can there be no decision, or
is that of a single State, or of a small minority of the States, to
sweep away the legislation of a majority, or two thirds of the States?
According to the new theory, each State has the constitutional power in
the first instance, and one fourth in the last resort, to judge what
powers each State may exercise, and the other States must submit. Now,
this is impossible, where the legislation of the two States is
contradictory; and, if possible, is not a mere negative, but a positive
power. It is a government without limitation of power, in a single
State, aided by one fourth of the States--a government by which the
minority may control the majority in all cases whatsoever. Thus,
Carolina frames any law or ordinance she thinks she may lawfully do in
the exercise of her reserved rights. She gives clearances for vessels,
for instance, to introduce all imports free of all duties. When once
introduced into Carolina, she has, or claims and exercises the right
under the Constitution of introducing these imports free of all duties
into every other State in the Union. Two thirds of the States have
passed an act of Congress imposing certain duties on foreign imports: as
separate States they can pass no such laws, having surrendered that
power in the Constitution of the Union. Can Carolina compel them to
receive all foreign imports free of all duties? Yet she says this is one
of her reserved rights, and she may forever constitutionally exercise
it, in defiance of an act of Congress passed by two thirds of the
States. Such a government would be an oligarchy of the most odious and
detestable character. The right of the people of any State, or of any
portion of them, to meet intolerable oppression by revolution is
certain; but, in Mr. Jefferson's rough draught of the Kentucky
resolutions (now attempted to be substituted for his deliberate
conclusions as contained in the resolutions themselves), does he
advocate nullification by a single State as a _constitutional_ remedy,
by a State remaining in the Union and submitting only to such laws as it
deemed valid. No; it was not as a _constitutional_, but as a 'NATURAL
right,' that Mr. Jefferson spoke of nullification by the people of a
State. I say the people, for Mr. Jefferson well knew that the '_natural_
right' of a State to nullify, as an artificial body politic, would be a
contradiction in terms. This '_natural_ right' is a _personal_, as
contradistinguished from a _State_ right; it is inalienable--it is
neither given nor reserved by constitutional compacts--it exists in
citizens of every State, the minority as well as the majority, and not
in the government of any one State. But the exercise of this right is
_revolution_--it is a declaration of independence--it is _war_, and
appeals to the sword as its umpire. Let no State, then, claim to stand
on the basis of the Constitution of the Union, while stripping it of its
vital powers, or setting up its will for law. No, the ordinance of
Carolina is not a peaceful, constitutional remedy: it is a nullification
of the Government itself, sweeping away its revenues, its courts, and
its officers; it is a repeal of the Union; it is despotic; it is
revolutionary; it is belligerent; it is a declaration of war or separate
independence. It looks beyond a repeal of the Tariff; for, whether the
Tariff be repealed or not, it asks to engraft the doctrine of
nullification as a permanent feature of the Constitution, applicable in
every case in which any State may deem any act of Congress
unconstitutional. Then each one of the States may take up the volumes
containing all the acts of Congress, and repeal them all by one sweeping
edict of nullification; for there is no limitation to the exercise of
the power but her own will. It is said no State will abuse the power;
but if a majority of the States, by their representatives in Congress,
may abuse delegated powers, is there no danger that one of these same
States, by their representatives at home, may mistake the nature of
their powers, and endanger the Union by a usurpation of power? Or do the
same people, and voting at the same period in any State, elect men to
Congress who will violate, and to the councils of the State, who will
uniformly preserve the Constitution? A State declared the last war
unconstitutional: must the war be nullified, or, by the new theory,
suspended, till, by a slow and tedious process, its constitutionality be
affirmed by three fourths of the States? But, in the mean time, all
hostile operations must cease, our army be disbanded, our navy recalled,
and no further supplies decreed of money, ammunition, or men. And when
one State thus nullifies any act of Congress, she is not required to be
sustained by the vote of any other State: the one fourth are only
required to refuse to act--to remain neutral--if they consider the act
of Congress inexpedient, although they believe it constitutional.
Suppose the New-England States, after the war was pronounced
unconstitutional by a single State, had refused to call a convention to
amend the Constitution, or, if called, to grant the disputed power; then
the war must have been abandoned, the minority must govern, and our
country be disgraced, our seamen permitted to be pressed from the very
decks of our vessels into foreign service, and the maritime despotism of
Britain established without even a struggle in defence of our liberties.
Shall opposition to the Tariff betray us into the support of doctrines
so utterly subversive of the Constitution, and inconsistent with the
existence of any government of the Union?

Once this power was threatened to be assumed by Massachusetts, now by
South Carolina, and how and by what State it will next be exercised, or
what vital power it may next strike from the Constitution, it is
impossible to predict; but, if permitted in one State, it will be
exercised by all, till not a vestige remains of the Constitution of the
Union. Suppose the Tariff repealed by Congress, nullification may annul
the repealing law. Louisiana may, in the exercise of her right of
ultimate judgment, declare that the repealing law is unconstitutional,
upon the pretext that it destroys rights vested by the first law and
violates the plighted faith of the Government, insist on the collection
of duties under the first law, pass her ordinance, array her State
officers against those of the Union, and thus destroy the commerce of
Mississippi, and of all the Western States, or compel the collection of
the present duties. Or she may say that, if Congress possesses no power
to lay duties which will operate an incidental protection, Louisiana
possesses the reserved right of imposing duties for that purpose; that
each State possessed it before it became a member of the Union; that
duties for revenue only can be collected by the General Government, and
that the residuary power to lay duties for protection is one of the
powers of a sovereign State; that she will exercise it, and impose
protecting duties on imports, and thus we shall have various and
conflicting State tariffs from Maine to Louisiana (the very object which
the Constitution was designed to prevent); but if Louisiana alone adopt
the measure, the commerce of the West is prostrate at her feet.

It is in the name of liberty and to protect minorities, that
nullification professes to act; while in its first ordinance it sweeps
away the dearest rights of a large minority of the people of Carolina,
and binds the freedom of conscience in adamantine chains. It deprives
American citizens of that last and hitherto sacred refuge from
oppression, a trial by an impartial jury, and requires the very judges
upon the bench and jurors within the box to be sworn to condemn the
unhappy man whose only crime was this: that he claimed the Government of
the Union as his birthright, and acknowledged the duty of obedience to
its laws. Such are the opening scenes of nullification; and, if not
arrested, where or how will the drama close? In all the horrors of civil
war. Turn your eyes upon the scenes of the French Revolution, and behold
them about to be reacted within the limits of a sister State. Already
nullification calls upon its twelve thousand bayonets; friend is rising
against friend, and brother against brother, under the banner of
Carolina on the one side, of the Union on the other; the inflammable
materials are ready, the spark approaches, the explosion may soon take
place, and the genius of liberty, rising in anguish from the
bloodstained fields of Carolina, spread her pinions, and wing her way
forever from a world, on one side of whose waters despotism reigns
triumphant, and, upon the other, anarchy, with one foot upon the scroll
of the Declaration of American Independence, and with the other upon the
broken tablet of the Constitution of the Union, shall wave that sceptre,
whereon shall be inscribed the motto, never to be effaced: 'Man is
incapable of self-government.' Yes, this is the best, the brightest, the
last experiment of self-government: universal _freedom_ or universal
_bondage_ is staked on the result of the success or failure of the
American Union; and as it shall be maintained and perpetuated, or broken
and dissolved, the light of liberty shall beam upon the hopes of
mankind, or be forever extinguished, amid the scoffs of exulting tyrants
and the groans of a world in bondage. Rising, then, above all minor
considerations, and lifting our souls to the contemplation of that lofty
eminence on which Heaven itself has vouchsafed to place the American
people, as the only guardians of the hopes and liberties of mankind, let
us act as becomes the depositaries of that sacred fire which burns on
the altars of the American Union, and resolve that this Union shall be
preserved, all whole and inviolate, as we received it from the hands of
our forefathers.

But, if nullification is not a constitutional remedy, we are told that
_secession_ is; and a few, who deny the one, admit the other; and our
venerable chief magistrate (Jackson) has been proclaimed as a
Federalist, because he denies the right of secession; and many of his
supporters, although some may not concur in every argument by which he
arrives at his conclusions, but concur in the conclusions themselves,
are visited with a similar denunciation. Sir, the President is one of
the fathers and founders of the Democratic party--one of its earliest
and most steadfast supporters, in defeat and triumph, in war and in
peace, in sunshine and in storm. In the Senate of the United States he
voted against the alien law, and was a zealous advocate of the
principles which resulted in the election of Mr. Jefferson, and the
great political revolution of 1800; and if any one man has done more to
support all the just rights of the States than General Jackson, that man
is not known to me. It is now nearly ten years since I had the honor to
propose the name of this illustrious patriot to the first meeting of a
portion of the Democracy of Pennsylvania as a candidate for the
presidency, and I will not hear him denounced as a Federalist without,
at least, an effort in his defence. Who made the right of secession as a
constitutional right of every State an article in the creed of the
Democratic party, and by what authority? By what reasoning is
nullification denounced, and secession supported, as a constitutional
remedy? If there be any real difference, the former is check, and the
latter a check-mate, to the movements of the Government of the Union.
The same reasoning demonstrates the fallacy of nullification or
secession, with equal clearness and certainty. A State cannot nullify a
law of the Union, because the _Constitution_ and _laws_ of the State are
made _subordinate_ to the Constitution and laws of the Union, by a
compact to which the people of each State were one party, and bound
themselves to the people of all the other States, as the other party.
One State cannot change the compact, or any of its terms or provisions,
yet it may rescind the compact at pleasure! It would be abuse of
language to call such an instrument a _compact_, because it would be
obligatory upon none. Without the constitutional right to nullify a law
of Congress by the ultimate judgment of the State against it, how could
the constitutional power of secession arise? It is said, from a
violation of the Constitution of the Union by the General Government;
but if a State has not, as the opponents of nullification admit, any
right to pass ultimate judgment on the constitutionality of an act of
Congress, how can it make the supposed violation of the Constitution by
the General Government the basis of the act of secession? The preamble
of the ordinance on which the State would rest its act of secession, by
asserting the unconstitutionality of an act of Congress, would be swept
away by the non-existence of a power in a single State to pronounce
ultimate judgment upon the acts of the Government of the Union; and the
preamble and ordinance of secession would fall together. Thus, when
Carolina, in her ordinance, first declares certain acts of Congress
unconstitutional, and proceeds, with the same ordinance, to
nullification first, and then to secession, we deny her constitutional
right to nullify or secede for the same reason; because the right
declared by her ordinance to render an act of Congress unconstitutional
by the judgment of a single State is a usurpation of power. Governor
Hayne, of Carolina, in his late proclamation, inquires if that State was
linked to the Union 'in the iron bonds of a perpetual Union.' These
bonds were not of iron, or Carolina would have never worn them, but they
are the enduring chain of peace and Union. One link could not be severed
from this chain, united in all its parts, without an entire dissolution
of all the bonds of union; and one State cannot dissolve the union among
all the States. Yet Carolina admits this to be the inevitable
consequence of the separation of that State; for, in the address of her
convention, she declares that 'the separation of South Carolina would
inevitably produce a _general dissolution of the Union_.' Has the
Government of the Union no power to _preserve itself from destruction_,
or must we submit to a 'general dissolution of the Union' whenever any
one State thinks proper to issue the despotic mandate? It was the
declared object of our ancestors, the hope of their children, that they
had formed 'a PERPETUAL Union.' The original compact of Carolina with
her sister States, by which the confederacy was erected, is called
'Articles of Confederation and _perpetual_ Union.' In the thirteenth
article of this confederacy, it is expressly declared that 'the Union
shall be _perpetual_;' and in the ratification of this compact, South
Carolina united with her sister States in declaring: 'And we do further
solemnly plight and engage the faith of our respective constituents'
that 'the Union _shall be perpetual_;' and may she now withdraw this
pledge without a violation of the compact? By the old confederacy, then,
the Union was _perpetual_; and the declared object of the Constitution
was to form 'a more perfect Union' than that existing under the former
confederacy. Now, would this Union be more perfect under the new than
the old confederacy, if by the latter the Union was perpetual, but,
under the former, limited in its duration at the will of a single State?

The advocates of secession claim the constitutional power for each State
to annul, not only any law which the State may deem unconstitutional,
but to abolish the Constitution itself as the law of the State. Now, by
this Constitution, Carolina granted certain powers to the General
Government: may she constitutionally alter or revoke the grant, in a
manner repugnant to the provisions of that Constitution? That instrument
points out the mode in which it may be changed or abrogated, and by
which the several States may assume all or any of the powers granted to
the General Government, namely, by the conjoint action of three fourths
of the States. What, then, are the powers reserved to the State? The
ninth article of the Constitution of the Union declares that 'the powers
not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited
by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the
people.' Then the powers delegated to the United States were not
reserved to the States or to the people. What is the meaning of the
clause 'or to the people,' as contradistinguished from 'the States'?
Does it mean that any of this mass of undefined powers, but embracing
all not granted to the General Government, was reserved to the people of
the United States in the aggregate? Then there would exist, and does now
exist, a consolidated despotism. No, it was to the _people_ of each
State the reservation was made. Then it follows, as a necessary
consequence, that none of the powers granted to the General Government
were reserved either to the States or the people of any State. That is,
so far as the people of any one State had granted, by their own separate
constitution, to the State government any powers not delegated to the
General Government, the government of the State might exercise these
powers, and so far as any of these undelegated powers were not granted
to the State government, by the people of the State, they were reserved
to the people of each State. Now, one of the powers reserved to the
people of each State is to change their form of State government, and
resume the powers granted by it. But we have seen that neither the
government or people of a State could resume 'the powers delegated to
the United States,' because it was not one of the rights reserved to
either. What! I am asked, cannot the people of a State abolish their
form of government? Yes, in two modes: one in accordance with the
Constitution, and the other by a revolution. Could the people of
Carolina or Mississippi change or abolish their State constitution,
except in the mode prescribed by that instrument, unless by a
revolution? And the same power, the people of Carolina, that formed for
them their State constitution, ratified and rendered obligatory upon
them the Constitution of the Union; and can the one and not the other be
abolished, except by a revolution, in any other mode than that
prescribed by the Constitution? No; the people of Carolina, and of all
the States, as distinct communities, in ratifying the Constitution of
the Union, rendered it binding upon the people of every State, by the
declaration that 'this Constitution shall be the supreme law of the
land, and that the judges in every State shall be bound thereby,
anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary
notwithstanding.' Here we see the distinction between the State and the
people of the State again recognized and confirmed, and the 'State,' by
its 'laws,' and the people of the State, by the formation of a
constitution, expressly prohibited from arresting the operation of the
Constitution of the United States, as 'the supreme law of the land,' 'in
every State.' If Carolina secede, she must form a constitution, by which
she will assume the powers granted to the General Government, and vest
them in the government of the State. Here she would be met by the former
act of the people of Carolina, declaring that they had abandoned the
power to form for themselves a constitution by which the Constitution of
the Union would cease within their limits to be 'the supreme law of the
land.' Nor did the framers of the Constitution mean to say only that the
then existing Constitutions of the States ratifying the compact should
be subordinate to the Constitution of the Union; for then, also, only
the existing laws of any State were required to be subordinate to the
Constitution of the Union; but both are placed on the same basis. The
power of a State to nullify by its laws, or secede by forming a new
constitution, are both denied in the same clause and sentence of the
American Constitution. The language is clear, that the Constitution of
the Union shall be 'the supreme law of the land,' and 'binding in every
State,' 'anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the
contrary notwithstanding.' The terms are '_shall be_;' it is the
language of command, it is prospective, it was binding when subscribed,
now, and forever. Or, was Carolina never bound by this compact, and
might she, the very day after it was ratified by her people, disregard
it altogether, secede, and establish a constitution directly repugnant
to the Constitution of the Union? If so, written constitutions are worse
than useless; they are not obligatory, there is no penalty for their
violation; obedience to them cannot be enforced; there is no government
but that of opinion, fluctuating and uncertain, undefined and
undefinable, which is paramount to the fundamental law. This is what the
_despots of Europe_ call our government, and why they _predict_ its
downfall--a prediction now in the course of fulfilment, if these
anarchical principles can be recognized as the doctrines of the

There is no difference between the doctrines or acts of Jefferson and
Jackson on this subject. Both admit nullification or secession as a
revolutionary measure; and the new doctrine of suspending a law by a
nullifying edict finds not the remotest support from Mr. Jefferson. In
his celebrated draught of the Kentucky resolutions, so much relied on by
Carolina, we have seen, he speaks of these powers of the people of any
State as 'a _natural_ right,' and so is revolution; and the cases to
which he refers are such as render a revolution unavoidable, namely, if
Congress pass an act 'so palpably against the Constitution as to amount
to an undisguised declaration that the compact is not meant to be the
measure of the powers of the General Government.' Is there now such a
case? if there is, revolution is justifiable. Why then ask any other
remedy than revolution for a case where revolution would be unavoidable?
And SECESSION IS REVOLUTION. But did Mr. Jefferson mean to say that
whenever any State should place its laws or Constitution, by
nullification or secession, in opposition to the laws of the General
Government, that the power of the General Government must not be
exerted? The very reverse. The act of Congress of the 3d of March,
1807, signed and approved by Mr. Jefferson as President, expressly
authorizes the President of the United States to 'employ such part of
the land and naval force of the United States as may be necessary' to
execute 'the laws of the United States.' Does this mean, as General
Hayne tells us in his proclamation, to execute the laws against
insurgents not sustained by any law of the State? No; this act was
passed at the very time when Pennsylvania was proceeding, by virtue of a
law of the State, to execute, by an armed force, the mandate of the
State in opposition to the mandate of the Federal authorities; and the
officer of Pennsylvania, acting under the mandate of the Governor and a
positive law of the State, was condemned for executing a law of the
State opposed to the mandate of the General Government, and only escaped
punishment by the pardon of President Madison: and thus falls the very
basis of the doctrine of nullification. Here is a commentary by Messrs.
Jefferson and Madison, demonstrating their entire concurrence with our
present Chief Magistrate. And, if any further evidence of Mr.
Jefferson's views were wanting, it is to be found in his letters,
already referred to, protesting against a separation of the Union, and
denying the right of a State to '_veto_' an act of Congress; and in many
other letters to be found in his memoirs, insisting upon the power even
of the old confederacy to exercise 'COERCION over its delinquent
members,' the States. 'Compulsion,' he says, 'was never so easy as in
our case, where a single frigate would levy on the commerce of a State
the deficiency of its contributions; nor more safe than in the hands of
_Congress_, which has _always_ shown that it would wait, as it ought to
do, to the last extremities, before it would exercise any of its powers
which are disagreeable.' Here, then, we find Mr. Jefferson most
distinctly admitting the power of Congress under the old, as in 1807 he
admitted under the present confederacy, to _compel a State_ by FORCE to
obey the laws of the Union. Why, then, is General Jackson denounced as a
tyrant, for doing that which his oath and the Constitution compel him to
do? Suppose any State, by its ordinance, should arrest the passage of
the mail through their limits, upon the pretext that the law was
unconstitutional; the acts of Congress place at the disposal of the
President the militia of any one or all of the States, or 'the land or
naval force of the United States', to _execute the law of the Union in
every State, by whomsoever resisted or opposed_. The Constitution and
his oath command him to execute the laws; he must execute them, and the
mail must pass on, though the edict of a single State should attempt to
arrest it by nullification or secession. Such, too, was the opinion of
Mr. Jefferson; and that illustrious patriot would have laid his head on
the block, and blessed the hand that severed it from his body, rather
than sever the Union by the promulgation of the doctrines now ascribed
to him. What are the consequences of this right of a State to secede
from the Union?--this right of revolution, without the power of the
General Government to _preserve the Union_? Any one State may arrest,
to-morrow, the mail of the Union, and its passage from State to State,
and refuse it a passage forever. Pennsylvania, a central State, may
separate the North from the South, prevent all intercommunication,
render our country a republic divided and indefensible. Louisiana,
purchased by taxes imposed upon the people of all the States, may secede
and establish a separate and independent government, lay protective or
prohibitory imposts on the imports and exports of this State and of the
West, carried through her ports and the outlets of the Mississippi. She
might say, I will protect my own cotton planters, by prohibitory duties
on the cotton of Mississippi or the West, or the imports designed to be
exchanged for it, shipped through my ports or through the outlet of the
Mississippi: it is my interest to do so; for thus I can deprive the
cotton planters of Mississippi and the West of a market; thus compel
them to abandon the culture of that staple, and sell my own cotton at a
higher price. Louisiana asserts no such doctrines; but, if she did,
could Mississippi, could the West admit them? and, in the last resort,
would not the Government _force_ a passage for our imports and exports
by the _sword_? Yes; for as well might you take the heart from the human
body and bid it live, as sever Louisiana from the States that border on
the Mississippi, and bid these States to prosper. No; Louisiana holds
the outlet of that stream through which the life blood of their commerce
and industry must forever flow; and we never could admit her right to
secede from the Union, and dictate the terms on which we should use the
outlet of that stream, whose banks were destined by heaven itself as the
residence of a united people. Not only Louisiana, but State by State
that borders on the Atlantic or the Gulf, might secede, seclude the West
from the ocean, and render them the tributaries of the seaboard States,
by laying prohibitory duties on their imports and exports. Could we
submit to this? _Not while the West contained a gun to use, or a man to
shoulder it._

And may Carolina secede and establish an independent government? Did she
establish her own independence? No, it was achieved by the arms and
purchased by the blood of Americans, with the banner of the Union
floating over them. I know the valor of Carolina, that, man to man, she
is invincible; but, unaided and alone, she would have fallen in the
Revolution. She would have fallen gloriously, her soil would have drunk
the blood of her children; but still she must have fallen in the unequal
contest. When Carolina was made the battlefield of the Revolution, from
the very rock of Plymouth and the heights of Bunker Hill, from
Pennsylvania, from Virginia, American citizens flew to her rescue. Side
by side with Carolina's sons they marched beneath the banner of the
Union; they fought, they conquered; Carolina was redeemed from bondage,
but upon her many and well-fought fields was mingled the blood and
repose the ashes of our common ancestors, the pledges of our Union in
victory and in death.

Shades of these departed patriots! arise, and say to the sons of
Carolina, it was the Union that made you free. Without it, you would yet
be subjects, colonial vassals, and slaves; without it, the chains are
now forging that will bind you to the thrones of despots. And could we
stand with folded arms, and behold the Union dissolved? Could we see the
seventeen thousand freemen of Carolina, who cling with the grasp of
death to the banner of the Union, deprived of their privileges as
American citizens, proscribed, disfranchised, expelled from all offices,
civil and military, driven by glittering bayonets from the bench and the
jury box, tried and convicted by judges and jurors sworn to condemn,
attainted as traitors, torn from the last embraces of wives and
children, consigned to the scaffold or the block, or immured within the
walls of a dungeon, where the light of heaven or liberty should never
visit them, with no consolation but their patriotism, and no companions
but their chains? And, gracious Heaven, for what? Oh! Liberty, when was
thy sacred temple profaned by deeds like this? Thy martyrs suffered only
for clinging to the banner of the American Union. And could we see them
torn from around that sacred banner, and move not to their rescue? No;
the glow that beams on every countenance, the patriot's answer that
speaks from every throbbing breast, proclaims that, as in '76 our
fathers marched to free their sires from tyrants' power, so would their
children go, to save from death or bondage Carolina's friends of
union--with them, beneath the standard of our common country, to die or

Citizens of Mississippi, to you the address of the nullifying convention
of Carolina makes a special appeal. It asks, if Carolina secedes from
the Union, 'Can it be believed that Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, and
even Kentucky would continue to pay a tribute of fifty per cent. upon
their consumption to the Northern States for the privilege of being
united to them, when they could receive all their supplies through the
ports of South Carolina, without paying a single cent for tribute?' To
this question, Georgia has already answered, by expressing her
'abhorrence' of the doctrine of nullification, her firm resolve to
adhere to the Union. Tennessee has made the same response. Kentucky, in
a voice of thunder, answers, _No_, we will preserve the Union as it is.
And will Mississippi receive the bribe thus offered to dissolve the
Union? What is it? The privilege of exchanging our exports for imports
free of duty, in the ports of Carolina; and then would Carolina pay the
taxes to raise and maintain an army, or a navy, and protect our
commerce? But if she could, nature pronounces the project impracticable.
Our commerce must flow through the outlet of the Mississippi; and how
would our exports reach the ports of Carolina--how would our imports
thence be received? Through the outlet of the Mississippi? No, that
outlet and its ports would then be in the hands of Louisiana--in that
event, to us a hostile foreign government, from which we had severed
ourselves. For let it not be forgotten that Louisiana is not even
invited to join this new confederacy; and if she were, is announcing her
unalterable determination to adhere to the Union as it is. Then, through
the outlet of the Mississippi our commerce could not be carried on with
the ports of Carolina; for Louisiana, as we have seen before, would meet
and stop our exports and imports with prohibitory duties. Would we move
up the Mississippi or Ohio to reach the ports of Carolina, or any other
market? There we would find the confederates from whom we had severed;
we would find a foreign government, and prohibitory duties would exclude
our access to Carolina's ports in that direction. How would we reach
them? The only other route, if Georgia and Alabama would grant the boon
for Carolina's benefit, would be to pass through those States by land to
Charleston, with our cotton, and return by land with the imports
received in exchange. A trip of one thousand miles by wagon road with
cotton! The entire value of the crop would not pay for its
transportation. Is this the proposition of Carolina? What is the only
commerce we could carry on with her? By abandoning the culture of cotton
upon our fertile lands, for the benefit of Carolina, and our planters
all becoming drovers of horses, mules, and cattle, to exchange for her
imports, and return with them, packed on the number unsold of our mules
and horses. And are these the benefits for which we are asked to
dissolve the Union, and place the channel of the Mississippi above and
below, and its outlet, in the hands of a foreign government, denying a
passage ascending or descending, to our imports or exports, and
excluding us from the ocean altogether? If Carolina's scheme were
practicable, Mississippi would not sell the Union for dollars and cents;
but though the scheme might be beneficial to Carolina, by stopping the
culture of cotton on our fertile soil, to the people of this State it is
ruin immediate and inevitable. The remedy Carolina proposes to us for
the Tariff, is worse than the disease. The disease is not mortal--it is
now in a course of cure; but Carolina's remedy is death--it is suicide;
for the _dissolution of the Union is political suicide_.

A Southern convention is proposed, of the States of North and South
Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. If
the object be a confederacy of these States, without Louisiana and the
Western, Middle, and Northern States, if patriotism, or love for the
Union were insufficient to restrain us from attempting this fatal
measure, we have seen that it would blast forever the fortunes of the
planters of Mississippi. But what States will unite in this convention?
Georgia has disavowed the act of the self-constituted, self-elected
minority convention that acted in her name. The history of Virginia
speaks in the voice of indignant rebuke to all those States that
assemble sectional conventions. North Carolina, unassuming, but
steadfast in support of the Union, will enter into no such convention.
Alabama, if her public meetings and journals and her chief magistrate
speak the voice of the State, will send no delegates. Tennessee, brave
and patriotic, devoted to the Union, and sustaining its banner in war
and in peace, meets the proposition with a decided refusal. I imagine,
then, our delegates would return without finding this Southern
convention. I am opposed to all sectional conventions. We have had one
such convention, and, whatever the secret motives of its members may
have been, the very fact that it was a sectional convention, that it was
believed to be convened to calculate the value of the Union, that it was
supposed to have in view an Eastern confederacy, has sealed the doom of
its members and projectors. And when the calm shall follow the storm, a
similar fate awaits all who will go into this Southern convention. I
trust there never will be another partial convention, Northern,
Southern, Eastern, or Western; for, whether assembled at Hartford or
Columbia, they are equally dangerous to the Union of the States. They
create and inflame geographical parties. Could the North, assembled in
convention, have that full knowledge of the situation and wants of the
people of the South, as to legislate for them, and propose ultimatums to
which the South must submit, or leave the Union? Could the South possess
that full knowledge of the situation and wants and interests of the
people of all the other States, as to enable them to dictate the terms
on which the Union should be governed or dissolved? No; it is only in a
meeting of all the States, in Congress or convention, that that
knowledge of the wants and interests of all, and that fusion of
sentiment and opinion, and spirit of concession, can exist, in which the
Constitution was framed, and all its powers should be exercised.

If we hold Southern conventions, then will there be Northern, Eastern,
and Western conventions, and they will overthrow the Union. Partial
confederacies will first be formed, and then, as Mr. Jefferson most
truly tells us, would speedily follow the formation of a separate and
independent government by each State. What is it we are asked to
abandon, and for what? That Union which ushered in the morn of American
Liberty, and gave birth to the Declaration of Independence; which
carried our armies victoriously through the storms of the Revolution and
the last war, and now waves triumphantly in every sea, the kindred
emblem of our country's glory. It gave us Washington--it gave us
liberty, and bears our name aloft among the nations of the earth. It is
our only rampart in war--our only safeguard in peace, and under its
auspices we declared, achieved, maintained, and can alone preserve our
liberties. It is the only basis of our solid and substantial interests,
and the last star of hope to the oppressed of every clime. Shall we
calculate its value? No! for we will not estimate the value of
liberty--and 'liberty and union are inseparable.' Dissolve this Union,
and let each State become, as Mr. Jefferson truly tells us it would, a
separate government, could we preserve our liberties? Where would be the
army and navy and seamen of the State of Mississippi? how to be
procured, and how to be maintained and paid? Where would be her
ambassadors and treaties, her commerce--and through what ports and by
whose permission would she ship her exports or introduce her imports?
Who would respect her flag, who recognize her as a nation--and how would
she punish aggressions upon her rights, on the ocean or the land? No,
fellow citizens; the President truly tells us that 'separate
independence' is a 'dream'--a dream from which we would wake in bondage
or in death. But, if disgraced abroad, what would be our situation at
home, as separate bordering and hostile States--and how long could we
remain in peace and concord? The voice of history tells us--the
bloodstained fields of our sister republics of America proclaim, that
disunion would be the signal for WAR--a war of conquest, in which the
weak would fall before the power of the strong; and upon the ruins of
this now happy Union might arise the darkest despotism that ever crushed
the liberties of mankind, for it would be established and could only be
maintained by the bayonet. Perhaps, while yet the civil war should rage
with doubtful issue, while exhausted and bleeding at every pore, that
sanguinary alliance of despots, combined to crush the liberties of man,
would send its armies to our shores. Under what standard would we rally
to preserve our liberty? There would be no Union--without it there would
be no strength; and those who, united, could defy the world in arms,
divided would be weak and powerless. Such are the ultimate results of
disunion. Let us take the first step, and all may be lost forever. That
step is nullification by Carolina, then her secession--then, as she
truly tells us in her address, 'the separation of South Carolina would
inevitably produce a general dissolution of the Union.' And shall
Carolina dissolve the Union? No; the liberties of all the States are
embarked together, and if one State withdraw her single plank, the
national vessel must go down to rise no more, and shipwreck the hopes of
mankind. Let us then adjure the people of Carolina, by the ties of our
common country and common kindred--by the ruin and disgrace which civil
war will bring upon the victors and vanquished--by the untried horrors
of those scenes to which disunion must conduct, to repeal her ordinance,
and not to force upon us that dread alternative, in which we must
support the flag of our country, or surrender our Union and liberty
without a struggle: that we cannot, we will not, we dare not, surrender
them; and, if forced to draw the sword to defend our liberties, the
motto will gleam on every blade: 'The Union shall be preserved.' For
were it abandoned, life would not be a blessing, but a curse; and
happiest would those be whose eyes were closed in death ere they beheld
the horrors of those scenes to which with viewless and rapid strides we
seem to hasten. Well, fellow citizens, may our hearts be wrung with
sorrow on this occasion, in looking back to what we were, and forward to
what we may soon be. Well may the tears unbidden start, for they are the
tears that patriots shed over the departing greatness of our once
united, but now distracted and unhappy country.


Compared with the great storm of rebellion which has darkened and
overspread our whole national sky, the Indian war on our northwestern
frontier has been a little cloud "no bigger than a man's hand;" and yet,
compared with similar events in our history, it has scarcely a parallel.
From the days of King Philip to the time of Black Hawk, there has hardly
been an outbreak so treacherous, so sudden, so bitter, and so bloody,
as that which filled the State of Minnesota with sorrow and lamentation,
during the past summer and autumn, and the closing scenes of which are
even now transpiring. We were beginning to regard the poetry of the
palisades as a thing of the past, when, suddenly, our ears were startled
by the echo of the warwhoop, and the crack of the rifle, and our hearts
appalled by the gleam of the tomahawk and the scalping knife, as they
descended in indiscriminate and remorseless slaughter, on defenceless
women and children on our border.

In the year 1851, the Sisseton, Wahpeton, M'dewakanton and Wahpekuta
bands of Dacotah or Sioux Indians by treaty ceded to the United States,
in consideration of certain annuities to be paid them, all their lands
within the present limits of the States of Iowa and Minnesota, excepting
a reservation set apart for their habitation and use, embracing a narrow
strip along the southern side of the Minnesota River, of about ten miles
in width and one hundred and fifty in length. To this reservation these
four bands removed their people, numbering some seven thousand souls, of
whom, perhaps, twelve hundred were warriors. During the eleven years
which have elapsed since this treaty was made, they have lived there,
the State of Minnesota being meanwhile peopled by the whites with
unparalleled rapidity, and the Indians seeing flourishing and populous
settlements springing up all about them. With but a single interruption,
peace and amity has existed between the two races; missions, schools,
and to some extent, agriculture, have been established among them; and a
large number of halfbreeds, springing from marriages between white
traders and Sioux women, have formed, apparently, a link of
consanguinity and interest, which, aided by the influence and laws of
civilization, would hereafter prevent any trouble or bloodshed on the
part of the savages.

One single and very grave interruption to these peaceful relations has,
however, occurred. In March, 1857, Inkpadutah, a Wahpekuta Dacotah, with
a small band of followers, committed a terrible massacre near Spirit
Lake, in the northwestern corner of Iowa, slaying fifty persons, and
carrying away four women into captivity, two of whom were, after some
months, ransomed and restored to their friends, the other two having
been previously murdered by their captors. But Inkpadutah and his band
were outlaws, driven away by their own people for creating internal
dissensions; and although the perpetrators were never properly pursued
and punished, it was not thought that the outrage had been countenanced
by the rest of the nation, or that any danger existed of similar acts on
their part.

The cause of the recent outbreak cannot, perhaps, be absolutely
determined; the manner of its beginning is more easily traced. It must
be understood that, for the purpose of receiving their annuities, the
Indians, at a certain period every summer, come down from their hunting
grounds to the two Agencies, one at Redwood, near Fort Ridgely, and the
other at Yellow Medicine. It is the custom to keep a certain quantity of
provisions at these Agencies to feed them during these visits, and also
to sometimes send them supplies during times of great want and scarcity
of game in winter. Unfortunately, they came last year much earlier than
common, and before they had received their usual notification from the
Agent, that the annuities were awaiting them. In addition, as if all the
accidents were destined to be adverse, the session of Congress was very
long, the Appropriation Bill, which included the Indian appropriations,
did not pass until the day before the adjournment, and the immense
pressure of business on the Departments, and the great difficulty of
obtaining coin, all occasioned long and unusual delays. The coin,
$71,000 in silver (Indians understand silver coin, and will scarcely
take any other), was finally shipped by express from the sub-treasury in
New York city, on the 12th of August, reached St. Paul on the 16th, and
was immediately despatched by private conveyance to Yellow Medicine, via
Fort Ridgely, at which latter place it arrived on the 18th.

The Indians came down to the Agency at Yellow Medicine about the middle
of July, to the number of four thousand, men, women, and children. Here
they remained in waiting some three weeks. Provisions, in small
quantities, were given to them, but for so large a number of mouths the
rations were scanty. This supply, with the few wild ducks and pigeons
which they could shoot from time to time, the little flour they were
able to buy on credit from the trading houses, and the half-grown
potatoes they stole from the fields, enabled them to eke out a scanty

As might be readily imagined, this state of things bred great
discontent. On the morning of the 4th of August, a large number of
Indians came over from their encampment, and some on horseback, and some
on foot, with guns and hatchets, rushed to the door of the warehouse,
cut it down, and commenced carrying out bags of flour. The few soldiers
who were stationed at the Agency, were, as well as the Agent and
employés, taken completely off their guard by this movement; but in a
short time they recovered themselves; got a field piece loaded and
turned upon the crowd, and sent a squad of soldiers to the warehouse. At
these preparations, the Indians desisted; but the military force was too
small to make more than a formal demonstration. The pile of flour taken
out of the warehouse had not been carried away, and while the soldiers
prevented this being done, the Indians placed a guard to hinder its
being recovered by the whites. Thus they stood during the remainder of
the day, in an attitude of mutual defiance, yet neither party was
willing to inaugurate hostilities. The next morning, when the Indians
again as usual flocked down to the Agency, a couple of arrests were
promptly made by the guard. This had the effect of driving them all back
to their camps. Almost immediately afterward they struck their tents,
and removed to a distance of from two to four miles. This was looked
upon at the Agency as a war movement, and all possible defensive
preparations were at once made. Some of the women were sent away, guns
and pistols were loaded, field pieces and troops were placed in
position, and pickets were thrown out. Everything looked like war. Still
there had been no actual bloodshed. Through the mediation of Rev. Mr.
Riggs, who had long resided among them as a missionary, peaceful
counsels finally prevailed with the Indians. Thirty-six of the chiefs
met the Agent in council, smoked the pipe of peace, acknowledged their
offence, and expressed their sorrow and shame at its occurrence. Three
days afterward another council was held, in which they agreed to receive
certain rations, and promised to induce their people to move away until
the annuity money should arrive. The Agent, on his part, forgave their
trespass, and promised to send for them as soon as he should be prepared
to make their payment. So confident was he that the arrangement was
amicable and satisfactory, that he went soon afterward to St. Paul on
business, leaving his family at the Agency.

Things remained in this condition until Sunday, the 17th of August,
1862. On that day, four young Indians, belonging to Little Six's band,
went to the house of Mr. Jones, at Acton, Meeker county, Minnesota. As
they evinced an unfriendly disposition, Mr. Jones locked his house, and
with his wife, went to the house of Mr. Howard Baker, a near neighbor,
where he was followed by the Indians. They proposed to go out and shoot
at a mark, but after leaving the house, suddenly turned and fired upon
the party, mortally wounding Mr. and Mrs. Jones, Mr. Baker, and a Mr.
Webster. Mrs. Baker, with a young child, concealed herself in the cellar
and escaped. The Indians then returned to Jones' house, which they broke
into, killing a young woman who had been left there. This was the first
bloodshed of the war.

Up to this time there seems to have been no deliberate preparation, no
concerted arrangement for the outbreak against the whites. There was
excitement and discontent among the Indians on account of hunger, the
delay of their payment, and the real or supposed wrongs and frauds
committed by white traders and officials; but no organized hostile
movement had been agreed on. They knew that a great war was in progress
between the whites; that armies were being raised, and the country was
being drained of men. All this was known and discussed among them. There
are also grave suspicions, and not without considerable show of
evidence, that rebel emissaries, Indians or half breeds from the
Missouri border, had been among them fomenting the discord and urging

When these four young men returned on the 18th to their band, which was
then with others at the Sioux Agency at Redwood, the recital of their
murders created the most intense excitement among the Indians. They
became infuriated at the idea of bloodshed. Before the whites were aware
that trouble was brewing, Little Six's, Little Crow's, Grey Iron's, and
Good Road's bands of M'dewakantons, and a part of the Lake Calhoun band,
gathered around the buildings, and, with a general rush and yell,
massacred the whites, some twenty-five in number, robbed and plundered
the stores, and laid the whole place in ashes.

The party who were conveying the annuity money to the Agency, reached
Fort Ridgely on the afternoon of the same day, and there learned that
the outbreak had taken place. A garrison of about seventy-five men was
in the fort at the time the news of the massacre reached it, and Captain
Marsh, taking fifty of them, proceeded toward the Agency, fifteen miles
up the river. In the evening twenty-one of the men returned, to tell
that the detachment had fallen into an ambush, and that all the others,
including the captain, were either killed or drowned.

The Indians seem to have at once despatched messengers with the news of
these hostilities to the bands at the Upper Sioux Agency, at Yellow
Medicine. The chiefs there immediately called their followers into
council. About one hundred Sissetons, Wahpetons, and thirty young
Yanktons, were present. The council was stormy, and divided in
sentiment; the Sissetons urging the killing and robbing of the whites,
saying the M'dewakantons had already gone so far that they could not
make matters worse, and that, as the whites would inflict punishment
upon all alike, the best thing to be done was to kill them and take
their goods. The Wahpeton chiefs, though willing to rob the whites,
insisted on sparing their lives, and sending them off with their horses
and wagons across the prairies.

About one fourth of the Sioux, previous to these events, had, through
the efforts of the Government and missionaries, renounced their savage
life, and adopted the customs of civilization. They had cut off
the hair, discarded the blanket, adopted the civilized costume,
and undertaken to live by the cultivation of the earth, instead
of the chase. One of the chiefs who joined in this reform was
An-pe-tu-to-ke-ca, or Other-Day, an Indian of more than ordinary
intelligence and ability. He had been much among the whites, and was a
convert to Christianity. Some years previous, while he was at Washington
city with a delegation of his tribe, a rather good-looking white woman,
who had lost caste in society, fell in love with him, married him, and
followed him to his Indian home in Minnesota.

Other-Day took part in this deliberation. He arose and addressed the
council, warning them against the consequences of the attack they were
meditating. They might succeed in killing a few whites, he told them,
but extermination or expulsion would be their fate if they did. But his
pacific arguments produced no effect. Toward evening, the Yanktons,
Sissetons, and a few of the Wahpetons rose from the council, and moved
toward the houses of the whites, to prepare for the attack. All the
afternoon the Indians had been busy taking their guns to the blacksmith
shop to have them repaired, which the unsuspecting smith, being told
they were going on a buffalo hunt, had done.

Other-Day now left the council, took his wife and his gun, and went to
warn the whites of the impending danger. They had, up to this time,
known nothing whatever of the council. At his suggestion, sixty-two
persons assembled in one of the Agency buildings, gathered their arms,
and prepared to defend themselves. Part of the farmer Indians assisted
Other-Day in standing guard round the house that night, part of them
guarded the house of Rev. Mr. Riggs, their old missionary, to whom they
were very much attached, and another part joined the insurgents.

Small bands of hostile Indians were seen prowling around the house
during the night, and by the next morning it was nearly surrounded. At
daybreak, several shots were fired near the warehouses, some distance
away, and then a triumphant yell was heard from the Indians as they
broke into the stores and killed the inmates. At this, the savages who
had prowled around the house during the night ran off to the scene of
the riot to share in the booty; and even the farmer Indians who had
stood guard for the whites, excepting only Other-Day, followed them.

Other-Day now advised the whites to make their escape, and offered to
pilot them out of danger. They were at first inclined to doubt his
faithfulness; but in their extremity, finally consented to follow him.
While the hostile Indians were occupied in the work of plundering the
stores and warehouses, the whites managed to collect three two-horse
wagons, and two buggies, and placing as many of the women and children
as they could in these, the party, sixty-two persons in all, started off
in a direction opposite to the usually travelled route. They reached and
forded the Minnesota River, eluded pursuit, and after a three days'
march of great severity and privation, under the faithful and successful
guidance of Other-Day, they arrived at a place of safety. True among the
treacherous, he should be gratefully remembered, and liberally rewarded
and protected for the remainder of his life, by the people of Minnesota
and the Government of the United States. When he reached St. Paul, after
the escape, he wrote the following, in answer to the many questions
asked him:

     "I am a Dakota Indian, born and reared in the midst of evil. I grew
     up without the knowledge of any good thing. I have been instructed
     by Americans, and taught to read and write. This I found to be
     good. I became acquainted with the Sacred Writings, and there
     learned my vileness. At the present time, I have fallen into great
     evil and affliction, but have escaped from it; and with fifty-four
     men, women, and children, without moccasins, without food, and
     without a blanket, I have arrived in the midst of a great people,
     and now my heart is glad. I attribute it to the mercy of the Great


Another party of about forty persons escaped from the vicinity of Yellow
Medicine, under the guidance of the missionary, Rev. Mr. Riggs, who was
also warned and aided by a few of the farmer Indians.

Having thus successfully attacked and destroyed the Lower Agency, at
Redwood, and the Upper Agency, at Yellow Medicine, and having obtained
large supplies of arms and ammunition from the stores and warehouses
they sacked at these points, part of the Indians divided into small
marauding bands, and scoured the country, attacking and murdering
isolated settlers, burning houses, and stealing horses and cattle; but
the larger portion remained together, and, under the leadership of
Little Crow, planned further attacks.

Fifteen miles below the Lower Agency, on the north bank of the
Minnesota, is Fort Ridgely; and twenty miles below the fort, on the
southern bank of the river, is the town of New Ulm, which, as its name
indicates, is mainly populated by German settlers. Early in the
afternoon of Tuesday, August 19th, a party of citizens from New Ulm,
returning from a neighboring village, where they had gone to aid in
recruiting volunteers for the Union army, were fired upon from an ambush
by a number of mounted Indians, and several of them killed. Those who
escaped had barely time to get back to New Ulm and give the alarm before
the Indians advanced upon the town, and began firing at long range upon
the distressed and panic-stricken inhabitants, who were huddled
together, in helpless confusion, in a few of the more protected houses.
Fortunately, a squad of eighteen armed men from one of the lower
counties had arrived there an hour or two previous. Only six of the
number had good guns; but they immediately organized themselves, and
went forward to meet the savages. By dint of determined coolness and
bravery, they held the Indians at bay, killing several of them, until,
seeing the town reënforced by another small party of mounted whites, the
savages retreated. The fight lasted two or three hours, and a number of
the Germans were killed.

Beaten back from New Ulm, the Indians retraced their course up the
river, and being joined by other bands, a concerted and deliberate
attack was next made on Fort Ridgely. Like too many of our frontier
forts, it is a fort only in name. Situated on a projecting spur of the
river bluff, it is almost completely encircled by deep and wooded
ravines, the edges of which are within a stone's throw of the buildings.
A long, two story stone building with an ell, standing in the centre,
and a number of log and frame houses ranged around it in an irregular
circle, with several barns and outhouses beyond them, constitute what is
called the fort, but what is really only barracks for a small number of

When on Monday Captain Marsh left the fort to quell the disturbances at
the Agency, only about twenty-five soldiers remained to protect it.
After his party was cut up in ambush, only twenty-one, wounded and all,
returned. Luckily, however, on Tuesday, two detachments of
reënforcements, of about fifty men each, reached the garrison in safety.
On the other hand, from the beginning of the outbreak, the women and
children of the surrounding country who had escaped massacre, sometimes
a whole family, sometimes only a single member--now a mother, and then a
child--fresh from the scenes of savage violence and blood, had been
fleeing to the fort for safety, until the number had been swelled to
some three hundred. Six cannon, a few old condemned muskets, and
considerable supplies of provisions were fortunately in the fort. Such
hurried preparations for defence as could be, were soon made. Small
squads of Indians were seen prowling about during Monday and Tuesday,
but they were promptly scattered by a shell from the howitzer,
accurately planted by the veteran artillery sergeant who was in charge
of the guns.

At a quarter past three o'clock on Wednesday afternoon, about three or
four hundred Indians, led by Little Crow, advanced under cover of the
woods and ravines to the attack of the garrison. It was a complete
surprise, the first announcement being a deadly volley through one of
the north entrances into the parade ground of the fort. For a moment
there was uncontrollable confusion and alarm among the whites, and had a
storming assault immediately followed, the fort must have fallen. The
garrison, however, quickly rallied, manned the guns, and poured a steady
fire on their assailants. The Indians, as usual, took shelter behind
every available cover--trees, ravines, outhouses, high grass and
logs--the whites directing their return shots as best they could. In
this way, a brisk fusilade was kept up until half-past six o'clock in
the evening. A number of the outbuildings were fired by the enemy, but
the flames did not reach the fort. The houses that remained nearer the
fort were destroyed by the garrison after the enemy withdrew. The
garrison lost twelve or fifteen men killed and wounded in this

A night of terrible anxiety and suspense succeeded, but there was no
further disturbance. On the next day, Thursday, two more attacks, each
lasting about half an hour, were made, one at nine o'clock in the
morning, and the other at six in the evening, but they were much feebler
than the previous one, and easily repulsed.

The final and most desperate attack occurred on Friday, the
twenty-second. The garrison was engaged in strengthening its defences,
when, at one o'clock in the afternoon, the sentinel saw at two miles
distance great numbers of Indians approaching on horseback. As they
neared the fort they dismounted, and advancing from three different
points under cover of the ravines, where the shells from the field
pieces could do them but little damage, they opened a terrible fire on
the garrison. But the previous two days' siege had steadied the nerves
of the whites, and they received the onslaught coolly, reserving their
fire until they could obtain a fair view of the enemy, and do effective
execution. The "big guns," of which Indians stand in so great dread,
were also well served. The fight raged all the afternoon, from two until
half past six o'clock. Once the savages pressed up so near that the
halfbreeds in the fort could distinguish the shout of the chiefs
ordering a charge for the purpose of capturing the guns. It was a
concerted movement; a feint to draw the fire of the field pieces, and an
immediate rush was made to secure them before they could be reloaded.
But the old artillery sergeant was not to be trapped; he reserved the
fire of his own gun, and when the storming party emerged into open view,
he planted a shell among them which sent them howling back to their
shelter. At nightfall the savages reluctantly gave up the siege and
retired, carrying away a considerable number of killed and wounded.
Those in the fort escaped miraculously; only one man being killed, and
three or four slightly wounded.

The next morning, Saturday, the Indians were seen again approaching the
fort, apparently to renew the attack; but it was soon discovered they
were withdrawing, to wreak their thwarted vengeance on the devoted town
of New Ulm. In the interim since the first attack, the town had been
reënforced by about one hundred volunteers, and had also been put in a
partial state of defence. Fire, murder, and pillage marked the way of
the savages toward it; the garrison noted their approach by the clouds
of smoke which the burning dwellings of the settlers sent up to heaven.

The Indians reached and again attacked New Ulm, on Sunday morning at
about eleven o'clock. The commanding officer of the whites had placed
pickets, and a considerable part of his force to support them, along the
outer edge of the town toward the foe; but so fierce and impetuous was
the attack, that the whites were forced back into the town at the first
onset of the enemy, giving them possession of several of the outer
buildings, from which they pushed their further operations. But the
garrison soon rallied, and obstinately held their ground. Finding
themselves so unexpectedly held at bay, the Indians, who were to the
windward, set fire one after another to the buildings they held, thus
literally burning their way into the town. All day long this continued.
Toward evening, the whites found they had been forced back, inch by
inch, by the fire and smoke and the swift leaden messengers of death,
until nearly one half of the town was lost; but they rallied once more,
made a vigorous charge on the foe, and drove them out. At this the
Indians withdrew, forming themselves into three parties, and camped a
short distance off, making the night hideous with fiendish yells and the
horrid music of their war dances. During the night the garrison
retreated into a still smaller and more defensible part of the town,
committing the rest to flames. A brief demonstration was made by the
enemy on the following morning, but finding the whites so well posted,
they finally abandoned the contest and withdrew. The whites, exhausted
and cut up, joyfully welcomed a cessation of hostilities. During the day
they evacuated the town, bringing off what remained of the garrison in
safety. In this battle they lost ten killed, and about fifty wounded,
while the Indians lost about forty. They were seen to haul off four
wagon loads of dead.

The events thus far narrated cover a period of nine days, and, though
forming the principal ones, were by no means the only events of that
brief time. The contagion of murder, arson, and rapine spread over the
whole area of country on which the Indians lived and roved, embracing a
district one hundred miles in width by two hundred in length. Fort
Abercrombie, situated at the upper end of this vast tract, was
surrounded and besieged, as Fort Ridgely at the lower end had been.
Throughout the intermediate region, scattering parties of the savages
appeared in the isolated villages and settlements, spreading death and
desolation. Local conditions exaggerated and heightened the horrors of
the insurrection. The population of Minnesota, and particularly of these
exposed regions, unlike that of the lower Western States, whose
settlers, trained in border warfare, were familiar with savage craft and
cruelty, and inherited the prowess and spirit of daring adventure which
possessed Daniel Boone, was largely made up of foreign emigrants,
Germans, French, Norwegians, and Swedes. They were unaccustomed to
danger, and unused to arms. They had lived for years in confidence and
daily intercourse with the Indians. Engaged in the absorbing labor of
building and providing their new homes, they were without guns or other
weapons of defence. Still worse, the war for the Union had called into
its ranks a large proportion of their young, active, and able-bodied
men, and left only the women and children to gather the harvest and
guard the hearthstone. Upon their heads this storm burst suddenly, and
with a terror which deprived them of all courage and resource to resist
it. Emboldened by the feeble opposition they met, and maddened by the
carnival of blood in which they rioted, the savages indulged in
cruelties and barbarities too horrible to recount in detail. The
Governor of Minnesota, in a special message to the Legislature of the
State, thus paints them:

     'Infants hewn into bloody chips of flesh, or nailed alive to door
     posts to linger out their little life in mortal agony, or torn
     untimely from the womb of the murdered mother, and in cruel mockery
     cast in fragments on her pulseless and bleeding breast; rape
     joined to murder in one awful tragedy; young girls, even children
     of tender years, outraged by their brutal ravishers, till death
     ended their shame and suffering; women held in captivity to undergo
     the horrors of a living death; whole families burned alive; and as
     if their devilish fury could not glut itself with outrages on the
     living, its last efforts exhausted in mutilating the bodies of the
     dead; such are the spectacles, and a thousand nameless horrors
     besides, which their first experience of Indian war has burned into
     the brains and hearts of our frontier people.'....

A wild panic ensued. Those who escaped the tomahawk and scalping knife
fled in consternation and dismay, abandoning their little earthly all,
leaving their cattle astray on the prairies, and their crops uncut and
ungathered in the fields; some fleeing with such precipitation as to
leave their food untouched on the table, where but a moment before it
had been spread for the daily repast. Women and children wandered for
days in the woods, subsisting on nuts and berries. Every road was lined
with fugitives, and all the villages were crowded with their surrounding
population. The refugees poured by hundreds into the city of St. Paul,
situated from eighty to one hundred and fifty miles from the scenes of
the outbreak; and many, who were able to do so, embarked on the first
departing steamers, and hurried away from the State. It is estimated
that ten large and flourishing counties were almost completely

It so happened that a portion of the volunteers recruited for the Union
army had not yet been ordered out of the State. Though poorly equipped
and supplied, they were at once sent into the field against the Indians,
and they served as a nucleus around which the irregular organizations
could rally. Every old gun, pistol, knife, or other weapon was cleaned
up; every pound of powder and lead was bought and distributed; and
horses were impressed by military authority, with which to extemporize
cavalry companies. The surrounding States promptly sent what aid they
could in men, guns, and cartridges. The Governor by proclamation
authorized the formation of companies of scouts and rangers in the
threatened neighborhoods. Very soon after the outbreak, Colonel H. H.
Sibley, an experienced frontiersman, having a thorough knowledge of
Indian habits and character, was on the march against them, with about
one thousand men. The General Government augmented these forces as
rapidly as possible, and sent Major-General Pope to assume command of
the Indian Department.

Hearing of Colonel Sibley's approach, Little Crow retreated to Yellow
Medicine, taking with him a large baggage train of plunder, and about
one hundred white prisoners, chiefly women and children, whom he had
captured at different places, and whom, with a few exceptions, they did
not specially maltreat, but compelled to labor at camp drudgery.

Colonel Sibley pushed on with his forces, sending in advance a cavalry
detachment, which reached and relieved Fort Ridgely on the 27th of
August, after it had been besieged for nine days. He himself arrived at
that post with the remainder of his troops on the following day. On the
31st, he sent out a detachment of two companies, one mounted, a fatigue
party of twenty men, and seventeen teams and teamsters, to reconnoitre
the neighboring settlements and to bury the dead. They proceeded to the
Minnesota river opposite the Lower Agency, and found and buried sixteen
corpses the first day. The next day they continued their search, finding
and burying fifty-four. That night they encamped on the open prairie,
near the upper timber of the Birch Coolie creek, three miles from the
Lower Agency. At about four o'clock of the next morning, September 2,
one of their sentinels shouted, "Indians!" and almost immediately, a
shower of balls rained upon the camp. From this first fire, and during
the confusion attending it, the detachment suffered severely. They soon,
however, gained the shelter of their wagons, and from behind them and
the piles of dead horses which literally covered the ground, they
returned a vigorous fire upon their assailants, meanwhile digging a
rifle pit as they fought. It was a fierce morning's battle, and the foe,
in largely superior numbers, had nearly surrounded and captured them
when reënforcements arrived. So hot was the attack, that one of the
tents was found to have one hundred and forty bullet holes through it.

The boldness and severity of this attack, demonstrated to Colonel Sibley
the necessity for an increase of force and very cautious movements, and
accordingly he fell back to the neighborhood of Fort Ridgely. Anxious
also to obtain the release of the white prisoners in Little Crow's camp,
and fearing that if he won a decided success in battle they would be
murdered, he determined to resort to negotiation. He therefore wrote the
following note and left it fastened to a stake, on the ground where the
last battle had taken place:

     'If Little Crow has any propositions to make to me, let him send a
     halfbreed to me, and he shall be protected in and out of my camp.

                                                           H. H. SIBLEY,
                                         Col. Com. Military Expedition.'

A day or two afterward, two halfbreeds came into his camp under a flag
of truce, bringing a note signed 'Little Crow, his mark,' excusing and
justifying his attack on the whites. Colonel Sibley replied, 'Little
Crow, you have murdered many of our people without cause. Return me the
prisoners under a flag of truce, and I will talk with you like a man.'
After the lapse of a few days, another message came from Little Crow,
stating that he had one hundred and fifty-five prisoners, and asking
what he could do to make peace. Colonel Sibley replied that his young
men had been committing more murders, and that was not the way to make

Having learned from several sources that serious dissensions had broken
out in the Indian camp, and having also received the needed
reënforcements, Colonel Sibley left Fort Ridgely on the 12th of
September, and marched up the Minnesota river to Wood Lake, near Yellow
Medicine, arriving there on the 22d following. Little Crow was encamped
in the vicinity with his braves. The savages, however, had become
demoralized, and he could no longer control them. Little Crow desired to
make an attack that night, but his opponents told him in council that if
he was a brave Indian he would fight the white man by daylight.
Accordingly, next morning he attacked Colonel Sibley's forces with three
hundred of his warriors, the others refusing to join in the fight. After
a sharp two-hours' battle the Indians were completely routed, losing
thirty killed, and a proportionate number of wounded. The whites lost
four killed, and forty wounded.

This battle substantially ended the war. The Indians retreated, and the
whites pursued them to Lac Qui Parle. Four days afterward, a camp of
about one hundred and fifty lodges of Indians and halfbreeds separated
from Little Crow's party, met Colonel Sibley in council, surrendered
themselves, and formally delivered up to him ninety-one white prisoners,
and over one hundred halfbreeds, whom they had obtained. Other parties
came in afterward, surrendering themselves unconditionally, until
between two and three thousand Indians, of all sexes and ages, were in
the hands of the troops as prisoners of war. A military commission was
appointed to try the ringleaders and worst offenders, and over three
hundred of them were convicted and sentenced to death. Before this paper
is printed, some, at least, of these, will have expiated their crimes on
the gallows. Little Crow, with a small but desperate band of followers,
succeeded in making his escape to Devil's Lake in Dakota Territory.

The future disposition of the Indians of the State of Minnesota is one
of the most perplexing minor questions of the day. In their present
location, the feud of race engendered by the insurrection will only die
with the generation that witnessed its beginning. Humanitarian impulses
and humanitarian duties are forgotten in the fierce thirst for private
vengeance. With one voice, the people of that State demand the removal
or threaten the extermination of their dangerous neighbors. But whither
shall they go? The swallowing tides of civilization encompass them on
the east, the north, and the south; and the only other avenue, the west,
is guarded by the gaunt wolf starvation.

It is proposed by some to colonize them on the island of Isle Royale, in
Lake Superior; by others, to purchase some small West India island, and
transport them there, where tropical nature will feed them without
expense to the Government. Perhaps the more practical measure would be
to gather all that remains of the red race within the United States into
one Territory, to establish a more thorough guardianship over them, and
to subject them to a stricter and more absolute government, which should
compel them to assume gradually the duties and customs of civilized


           With chilling breath it comes:
   Again--and yet again! on every gale,
     America! from thy great battle field!
           Our hearts are hushed, and desolate our homes--
   Our lids are heavy, and our cheeks are pale--
               While thus we yield
             Our loved ones up to thee!

         Dead! dying at their posts!
   The young, the noble, and the loving ones!
     The widow's all! the gray-haired father's hope--
         All thine, my country! take the treasured hosts:
   Hold in thy faithful keeping all thy sons!
               We give them up--
             To thee and liberty!

           Oh, keep our honored dead
   Within the folds of thy great-pulsing heart!
     Entwine their memory with thy polished lore:
           Cherish the sacred dust above _their_ bed
   Who sprang to shield thee from the traitor's dart!
             Bless evermore
           The dead who died for thee!

         Silent the teardrops fall
   Down the pale mother's cheek at close of day;
     For sorrow sitteth at the widow's gate:
         Dark are the shadows gathered on the wall,
   And where the mourner bendeth low to pray--
             No more to wait
           The coming of her free!

           For thee--'dear native land!'
   What precious hopes are severed one by one!
     What hearts lie crushed and sick by 'hope deferred!'
           How many dear ones, stretched along the sand,
   Bleed out their lives beneath a blighting sun--
             With but a word--
           'Mother!' for plaint or prayer!

         Shall they be vainly shed--
   The blood and tears that wash our stricken soil?
     Bringing no healing with their torrent streams?
         Vain the long requiem for the noble dead--
   Vain all the agony and all the toil--
             The soldier's dreams--
           The patriot's thought and care?

           No! float upon the winds!
   Flag of my country! let thy stars give light
     To nations of the earth! proclaim afar
           The end of tyrant rule that madly binds
   Our millions down beneath a fearful blight!
             Float--_every star_!
           We have not one to spare!


     'ALL of which I saw, and part of which I was.'


After dinner, we rode over my friend's plantation. It contained about
twelve hundred acres, mainly covered with forest trees, but with here
and there an isolated patch of cleared land devoted to corn and cotton.
A small tributary of the Trent formed its northern boundary, and
bordering the little stream was a tract of three hundred acres of low,
swampy ground, heavily timbered with cypress and juniper. Tall old
pines, denuded of bark for one third of their height, and their white
faces bearded with long, shining flakes of 'scrape turpentine,' crowned
the uplands; and scattered among them, about a hundred well-clad,
'well-kept' negro men and women were shouting pleasantly to one another,
or singing merrily some simple song of 'Ole Car'lina,' as with the long
scrapers they peeled the glistening scales from the scarified trees, or,
gathering them in their aprons, 'dumped' them into the rude barrels
prepared for their reception. Preston had a kind word for each one that
we passed--a pleasant inquiry about an infirm mother or a sick child, or
some encouraging comment on their cheerful work; and many were the
hearty blessings they showered upon 'good massa,' and many their
good-natured exclamations over 'de strange gemman dat sells massa's

'He'm de kine, 'ou gals,' shouted an old darky, bent nearly double with
age, who, leaning against one of the barrels, was 'packing down' the
flakes as they were emptied from the aprons of the women: 'He'm de kine,
I tell by him eye; de rocks doan't grow fass ter dat gemman's pocket!'

'Well, they don't, uncle,' I replied, tossing him a half-dollar piece,
and throwing a handful of smaller coin among the women. A general
scramble followed, in which the old fellow nimbly joined, shouting out
between his boisterous explosions of merriment:

'Dis am de sort, massa; dis am manna rainin' in de wilderness--de Lord's
chil'ren lub dis kine--it'm good ter take, massa, good ter take.'

'Good as black jack, eh, uncle?' I inquired, laughing, for I saw certain
lines about his shrunken mouth, and underneath his sunken eyes, which
told plainly he was rather too familiar with that delicious compound of
strychnine and whiskey.

'Yas, massa, good as black Jack; dat's my name, massa, dat's my
name--yah, yah,' and he turned his face, wet with merry tears, and
distended in an uncommonly broad grin, up to mine. In a moment, however,
his eye caught Preston's. His broad visage collapsed, his distended
mouth shrank to a very diminutive opening, and his twinkling eyes
assumed a peculiarly stolid expression, as he added, in a deprecatory

'No, massa Robert, not so good as black jack; not so good as dat--'ou
knows I doan't keer fur him; you knows I doan't knows him no more, massa

'I know you never knew him,' replied Preston, playing on his name. 'He's
a hardened old sinner. He has sinned away the day of grace, I'm sure.
But you know better than to ask presents of strangers. Give it back to
the gentleman at once.'

An indescribable expression stole over the old negro's visage as he
thrust his hand through his thin, frosty wool, looked pleadingly up at
his master's face, and, seeing no signs of relenting there, slowly and
reluctantly opened his palm and offered me the money.

'No, no, Preston, let him keep it; it won't do him any harm,' I said.

'No more'n it woan't, good massa, not a morsel ob harm,' exclaimed the
darky, his small eyes twinkling again with pleasurable anticipation, and
his broad face widening into its accustomed grin: 'I woan't take nary a
drop, massa Robert, nary a drop!'

'Well,' said his master, 'you can keep it if you'll promise not to drink
it all to-morrow. So much whiskey would spoil your prayer at the

'So it 'ould, massa Robert; so much as dat; but Jack allers prays de
stronger fur a little, massa Robert, jess a little--it sort o' 'pears
ter warm up a ole man's sperrets, and ter fotch all de 'votion right
inter him froat.'

'I suppose it does; all the devotion you ever feel. You're an old
sinner, Jack, past praying for, I fear,' replied Preston,
good-naturedly, turning his horse to go.

'Not pass prayin' fur 'ou, massa Robert, not pass dat, an' ole Jack
neber will be, nudder--not so long as he kin holler loud 'nuff fur de
Lord ter yere. 'Ou may 'pend on dat, massa Robert, 'ou may 'pend on

As we rode away, I asked Preston if the old black led the services at
the negro meetings.

'Yes, I am obliged to let him. He was formerly the plantation preacher,
and, with all his faults, the blacks are much attached to him. A small
rebellion broke out among them, five years ago, when I displaced him,
and put Joe into the pulpit. I compromised the difficulty by agreeing
that Jack should lead in prayer every Sunday morning. They think he has
a gift that way, and _you_ would conclude the day of Pentecost had come,
if you should hear him when he is about half-seas-over.'

'Then he does pray better for a little whiskey?'

'Yes, a mug of 'black jack' helps him amazingly--it gives him the real

After a two hours' circuit of the plantation, we halted in the vicinity
of the distilleries, which stood huddled together on the bank of the
little stream of which I have spoken. There were three of them, each of
thirty barrels' capacity--an enormous size--and they were neatly set in
brick, and enclosed in a substantial framed structure, which was
weatherboarded and coated with paint of a dark brown color. Near the
only one then in operation were several large heaps of flake turpentine,
three or four hundred barrels of rosin, and a vast quantity of the same
material scattered loosely about and mixed with broken staves, worn-out
strainers, and the _debris_ of the rosin bins. Pointing to the confused
mass, I said to my host:

'I've half a mind to turn missionary. I feel a sort of call to preach to
you Southern heathen.'

'I wish you would,' he rejoined, laughing; 'you'd give me a chance to
laugh at your sermons, as you have laughed at mine.'

'No, you wouldn't laugh. I'd make you _feel_ way down in your pocket.
I'd have but one sermon and one text, and that would be: 'Gather up the
fragments, that nothing be lost.' You Southern nabobs do nothing but
waste--you waste enough in one day to feed the whole North for a week.
It's a sin--the unpardonable sin--for you know better.'

'Well, it _is_ wrong, but how can we help it? We can't make the negroes
anything but what they are--shiftless and careless of everything but
their own ease.'

'I don't know about that. I think such a man as Joe ought to be able to
manage them.'

'Joe! Well, he can't. He's all drive, and negroes are human beings; they
should be treated kindly.'

We had approached the front of the still, and were fastening our horses
to the trunk of a tree, when we heard loud voices issuing from the other
side of the enclosure.

'Her'm what I owes you--now pack off ter onst, and don't neber show your
face on dis plantation no more,' said a voice, which I at once
recognized as that of 'boss Joe.'

'I shan't pack off till I'm ready, you d--d black nigger, I've been
bossed 'bout by ye long 'nuff. Clar out, and 'tend ter yer own 'fairs,'
rejoined another voice, which had the tone of a white man's.

'I reckon _dis_ am my 'fair, and I shan't leff you git drunk and burn up
no more white rosum yere; so take yerseff off. Ef you don't, I'll make
you blacker nor I is.'

'Put your hand on me, and I'll take the law on ye, _shore_,' returned
the white man.

'Pshaw, you drunken fool, do you s'pose dese darkies would tell on _me_?
Ef dey would, dar word ain't 'lowed in de law; so you trabble. I don't
keer ter handle you, but I shill ef you don't leab widin five minutes.'

What might have followed will not go down in history, for just then
Preston and I, emerging from around the corner of the building, appeared
in view of the belligerents. The native--a respectable specimen of the
class of poor whites--stood in a defiant attitude before the still-fire,
while Joe was seated on a turpentine barrel near, quietly noting the
time by a large silver watch which he held in his hand. He kept on
counting the minutes, and gave no heed to his master's approach, till
Preston said:

'Joe, what's to pay?'

'Nuffin, master Robert, 'cept I'se 'scharged dis man, and he say he
won't gwo.'

'Do as Joseph bids you,' said Preston, turning to the white man, 'take
your pay and go at once.'

The man stammered out a few words with a cringing air, but the planter
cut him short with:

'I want no explanations. If you can't satisfy Joseph, you can't satisfy

The native then leisurely took down a ragged coat that hung from one of
the timbers, counted over a small roll of bank notes which Joe gave him,
and meekly left the still-house.

Joe and his master devoted the next half hour to piloting me over the
distilleries. I commented rather freely on the sad waste of valuable
produce which was scattered about, and on the bad economy of keeping
three 'stills' to do the work of one.

'It might have done years ago,' I remarked, 'before your trees ran to
'scrape,' and when they yielded enough 'dip' to keep all the stills
busy; but now they are eating you up. You have fully four thousand
dollars idle here. Sell them, Preston--that amount would help you out of

'Dat's what I tells master Robert, Mr. Kirke, but he sort o' clings to
ole tings, _sar_,' said Joe, in the free, familiar tone usual with him.

'But _you_ do just as badly, Joe,' I replied. 'You let these darkies
waste more than they eat, and you keep four here to do the work of
three. You are no better than your master.'

'Only half so good, Mr. Kirke,' rejoined the black, showing a set of
teeth which a dentist might have used for a door plate; 'only _half_ so
good, 'case I'se only half white. But, if master Robert 'ould leff me
handle de whip, I'd show him suffin'! I reckon de int'rest 'ouldn't be
ahind den.'

'Why? don't you let Joe whip the negroes?' I asked Preston.

'No, not now; I did, till some years ago, when he almost killed one of
them, and came near getting me into serious trouble. He could manage
them well enough without whipping, if he'd curb his impetuous temper a

'But I does curb it, master Robert, and it tain't ob no use. Dey knows I
_can't_ whip 'em, an' dey don't keer fur de starvin', or de tyin' up, or
de talkin' to in de meetin'. Dey don't mind fur nuffin' but de whip, an'
a little ex'cise wid dat does a nigger good when he'm right down
'fractory. And you has 'lowed, master Robert, dat I warn't so much ter
blame in dat 'fair ob Black Cale.'

'Well, perhaps you weren't. It's a good story, Kirke; did I ever tell it
to you?'

'No; I'd be glad to hear it.'

'Come, Joe,' said his master, good-naturedly, 'you can tell it better
than I. You know it by heart.'

'Well, master, if you says so,' replied Joe; and as we seated ourselves
in a semicircle on some rosin barrels, the black proceeded to give the
following illustration of the working of free and slave institutions:

'Well, you see, Mr. Kirke, de darky's name wus Black Cale, an' he wus a
raised up 'long wid me by de ole gemman--dat am master Robert's
gran'fer. He wus allers a hard-bitted, 'fractory darky, but he wus
smart, awful smart, and could do a heap ob work when a minded to; but he
wusn't a minded to bery of'en, an' ole master used to hab ter flog
him--flog him bery hard. Well, finarly, de ole gemman grow'd tired ob
doin' so much ob dat, an' he call Cale ter him one day, an' he say:

''Cale, you'se a likely nigger, an' I _don't_ like ter flog you so much.
Now, I'll leff you hire you' time, an' gwo down ter Newbern, an' shirk
fur you'seff.'

'Ole master knowed Cale wus habin' a bad 'fect on de oder darkies, an'
he 'lowed 'twould be cheap leffin' him gwo ef he didn't get a picayune
fur him. Well, Cale, he took ter dat ter onst, an' he 'greed to gib ole
master one fifty a year fur his time; an' so he put off ter Newbern.
Well, ebery ting gwo on right smart till de ole gemman die. Cale, he
work hard, pay master ebery year, and sabe up quite a heap. Well, ole
master die widout a will, an' all de property gwo ter de two sons; dat
am master James an' master Thomas--he war master Robert's fader. Now
master James he neber lib'd on de plantation, so he sold all his half ob
de nigs to master Thomas, an' put all de 'vails inter his bisness down
dar ter Mobile, whar he am now, doin' a heap in de cotton way. But he
didn't sell his half ob Cale, 'case master Thomas wouldn't buy him,
nohow. Well, dey owned Cale tugedder fur a spell, an' Cale he work on
right smart, till one day master James come home, and he tells master
Thomas dat on de way he'd a stopped at Newbern, and sole his half ob
Cale ter Cale heseff, fur five hundred dollar, and giben him de free
papers. Well, den Cale he want to buy de oder half ob heseff ob master
Thomas, an' master Thomas he offer to take de same money; but Cale say
de oder half not wuth so much as de fust, an' dat he wouldn't gib only
two fifty.'

'Not worth so much--why not?' I asked.

'Why, Cale say 'case he could do what he like wid de free half, and he
reckoned he shouldn't be quite so 'sponsible _den_ fur de slave half,'
and here Joe broke into a merry fit of laughter, in which Preston

'Well, master Thomas an' Cale couldn't 'gree 'bout de buyin', but Cale
promise to gib seventy-five dollar a year fur de use ob master's half,
an' he gwo off agin ter Newbern. Den de time gwo by fur a yar or two,
but master neber git nary dime out ob Cale fur his half. Cale would say
dat only half ob him wus free, an' de oder half wasn't 'sponsible, and
couldn't pay its debts, nohow. Finarly, master, seein' he couldn't git
nuffin out ob Cale, only offers ob two fifty fur de oder half--and _dat_
he wouldn't take, nohow--sent me down to Newbern to sort o' mediate
'tween Cale an' he. Well, I coaxed Cale to 'gree to wuck one monfh for
heseff and de oder monfh fur massa, and I come home; but it warn't ob no
use; Cale would wuck, but massa neber seed a fip ob de pay. Finarly,
af'er he'd a gone on dat way 'bout ten yar, stowin' 'way what he arned
whar nobody could fine it, an' allers off'rin' two fifty fur de oder
half ob heseff, master Thomas he die, and master Robert he come ter lib
on de plantation. Den master Robert axed me what he should do wid Cale,
and I tole him to take de two fifty, and leff him gwo. But he say, 'no,'
dat he wouldn't sell him fur dat, nohow.' And here the black looked
slyly at his master, and a merry twinkle came into his eyes. 'Well, den,
I tole master Robert dat I tought I could fix Cale ef he'd leff me
manage him jess as I like. He 'greed to dat, an' I gwoes down to
Newbern, an' makes Cale come home, an' den I say to him:

''Now, Cale, you stay yere, an' gwo to wuck. Ebery monfh you wuck fur
me, an' ebery oder monfh you wuck fur you'seff, an' when you wuck fur
you'seff I pay you so much fur ebery barr'l ob dip, an' so much fur
ebery barr'l ob scrape, an' so much fur ebery day when you wuck roun';
an' I makes you pay so much fur what you lib on. Well, Cale, he 'gree to
dat. He wuck de fust monfh fur heseff, an' he _did_ wuck--he done twice
so much as any hand on de plantation; but de next monfh, when he wuck
fur _me_, he don't do nuffin but lay 'bout, an' git drunk. I stood dat
till de monfh wus up--fur I neber did take ter whippin' de nigs, an'
master Robert know dat--an' den w'en Cale wus clean sober, I tied him up
to gib him a floggin'. Well, w'en he wus a stripped, an' I was jess
gwine to lay on de lashes, Cale say to me, says he:

''Look a yere, 'ou Joe, 'ou may whip massa's half ob dis nig jess so
long as 'ou likes, but ef 'ou put de lash onter _my_ half, I'll take de
law on 'ou. I will, shore.'

'Dat sot me a tinkin'; fur de fac wus, I'd nary right to flog _his_
half; but den it 'curred ter me dat none but darkies wus roun', an' so I
tought I had him, _shore_. Well, I puts on de lashes, an' he keeps a
tellin' me he'd hab de law on me, which make me sort o' 'zasparated,
till I put 'em on right smart, an' at lass he gib in. Well, w'en I'd a
got him a feelin' 'bout right, an' wus only jess puttin' de lass blows
on to finish up makin' a decent nigger ob him, master Robert he come up,
and when he seed de blood a runnin' down his back, he say Cale had been
whipped 'bout 'nough, and I must stop. Cale turned up missin' dat night,
an' got off to Newbern; an' shore 'nuff, de next evenin', long 'bout
dark, de sherrif he rode up to de house wid a writ fur master Robert fur
habin' made 'salt an' batt'ry on one collud man, called Caleb Preston,
an' he pulled out a suspeny dat make massa Robert witness agin heseff!
ha! ha! You see Cale wus smart; he know'd master Robert b'longed to de
Baptist meeting, an' wouldn't lie fur all de niggers in Jones county; so
he had him dar, ha! ha!'

Here Joe for some minutes was unable to continue the narrative. His
merriment was contagious. I laughed till my sides were sore, and Preston
enjoyed the story quite as much as I did.

'Well, what was the end of it?' I asked.

'Only, master Robert hed to be toted off to Newbern dat night, git bail
or sleep in de jail, and de next mornin', af'er de nig hed a hed ten
yars' use ob heseff fur nuffin, master Robert hed to do what _he'd_ a
said, an' his fader afore him hed said, dey neber would do--dat is, take
two fifty fur de oder half ob Cale! Ha! ha! De next time I gwoes to
Newbern I hunt Cale up, an' I tell him he must study fur de law, shore;
an' dat ef he done it, I know'd master Robert would pay de 'spences, out
ob lub to de country.'

The negroes who were attending the still had dropped their work to
listen to Joe's story, and at its close guffawed in a chorus that made
the woods ring. Hearing it, Joe sprang to his feet, shouting out:
'Yere--'bout you' wuck dar; leff me kotch you eavesdroppin' on gemmen
agin, an' I'll gib you what I gabe Cale. 'Bout you' wuck, I say.' They
turned nimbly to their tasks, and Joe resumed his seat.

'I see the moral of that story, Preston,' I said, when the negro had

'What is it?'

'That a darky may be as smart as a white man. Cale outwitted you.'

'Well, he did,' he replied, laughing; 'but that isn't the moral: it is
that flogging never accomplishes its object.'

'I'm not so sure of that. Joe had brought Cale to terms, 'made a decent
nigger on him,' when you, unluckily, interfered.'

'It ain't so much de floggin' on 'em, Mr. Kirke,' said Joe, 'as dar
knowin' dat you _will_ do it ef dey desarve it. Dar ain't a darky on de
plantation dat don't know master Robert an' de good missus 'ould rader
be flogged demselves dan flog dem; an' dat wucks bad, Mr. Kirke, sorry
bad;' and the negro shook his head with a grave, thoughtful air.

'Tell me, Preston,' I said, after a slight pause, 'how is it that your
neighbor Dawsey, with only seventy-five negroes, sends us more produce
than you do with a hundred and fifty?'

'Simply because he treats his hands like brutes, while I treat mine like

'I hope you'll take no offence,' I replied, 'but it appears to me there
must be some other reason. He has only _half_ your number.'

'Well, I will tell you how he and I manage, and you can judge for
yourself. Dawsey has seventy-five slaves; forty child-bearing women,
twenty men, and fifteen children under five years. The sixty adults are
all prime hands. They are given daily tasks, which they cannot possibly
do in less than fifteen hours, leaving them only nine hours out of the
twenty-four for eating, sleeping, feeding their children, and the waking
rest necessary to working people. He never whips them on a week day,
because it wastes working time, but makes Sunday a general flogging
season. He has two women where he has one man, and each woman is
expected to bear a child a year. If she doesn't, she is sold. They are
made to work in the field till the labor pains are on them; and they are
allowed only two weeks' rest after confinement. Three of them have borne
children in the woods this season. He keeps only one nurse for the
fifteen children, and as soon as each child is five years old--the age
at which it can be legally sold away from its mother--it is disposed of
to the traders. In addition, three of these women are his own mistresses
and they are expected to have children as fast as the others. He serves
their children like the rest; that is, rears them to the age of five,
and then sells them as he would so many hogs.'

'My God!' I exclaimed, 'he's a monster.'

'There are different opinions about that. Dawsey passes for a jovial
good fellow; keeps open house for his friends; spends money freely at
the elections, and two years ago 'got religion' at a camp meeting. He
merely regards his slaves as chattels, and manages his plantation in
perhaps the only way that is profitable in an old section of country
like this.'

'And how is it with you? How do you manage?' I asked.

'Leff _me_ tell, master Robert,' said the black, smiling. 'I knows all
de 'ticulars 'bout dat.'

'Well, go on,' said Preston, laughing, 'but don't be too hard on _me_.'

'We hab,' continued the black, 'countin' me in, a hundred an' fifty-one
darkies, all in fam'lies--faders, mudders, children, and some on 'em
gran'faders and gran'mudders,'most all born on de plantation, an' some
on 'em livin' on it fur forty, fifty, sixty, an' seventy yar. Out ob
dese, we hab only forty-two full hands, 'case some ob de wimmin dat come
in de ages fur full wuck am sickly, puny tings, only fit fur house wuck
or nussin'. From de whole I gits equal to fifty-four full hands.
'Cordin' to master Robert's direction, I gib 'em easy ten-hour tasks;
but suffin' or anoder turn up 'most ebery day, so dat 'bout half on 'em
don't do full wuck, an' I reckon dey don't make, on de whole, more'n
'bout nine hour a day. So you see, Cunnel Dawsey, he hab sixty, an' he
wuck em fifteen hour a day; we hab only fifty-four, an' we wuck 'em nine
hour a day; an' 'cordin' to my 'rithmetic, dat would make de Cunnel turn
out 'bout twice as much truck as we does.'

'And you have twice as many mouths to feed as he,' I remarked; 'and the
result is he makes money, while you--'

'Lose nigh onter two thousand a year, Mr. Kirke, an' hab done it ebery
yar fur five yar, eber since master Robert come on to de plantation, an'
gwo to workin' on human principles, as he calls 'em.'

This was said in so sad and regretful a tone, that, in spite of the
serious manner of both the black and his master, I laughed heartily.
When my merriment had somewhat subsided, I said:

'Joe, what would you do to mend this state of affairs?'

'It can't be mended if we stay in dis ole country, an' wuck 'cordin' to
master Robert's notion.'

'Then you mean to say you can't apply humane principles to slave labor,
in an old district of country, and make money?'

'Yes,' said Preston, rising and pacing up and down in the small
semi-circle formed by the rosin barrels, 'that is what he means to say,
and it is true.'

'Then how do the majority of turpentine planters in this section make
money? They _do_ make it, that is certain.'

'By overworking their hands, as Dawsey does. All may not be as severe
with them as he is, but all overwork them, more or less,' replied

'I don't know 'bout dat, master Robert, twelve and eben firteen hour a
day neber hurt a prime hand, if he hab good feed.

'Well, it is six o'clock, and supper must be in waiting,' said Preston,
drawing out his watch; 'we'll talk more on this subject to-night. Joe,
bring the books up to the house this evening. Mr. Kirke has promised to
look into our affairs, and I shall need you.'

'Yas, master Robert,' replied the black; and, mounting the horses,
Preston and I rode off to the mansion.


Mrs. Preston and master Joe were on the piazza awaiting us, and in the
doorway we were met by the younger children. Preston lifted one of them
upon his shoulder, and taking another in his arms, led the way to the
supper room. However disturbed might be my friend's relations with the
outer world, all was peace by his cheerful fireside. No man was ever
more blessed in his home. His children were intelligent, loving, and
obedient; his wife was one of those rare women--seen nowhere more often
than in the South--who, to a cultivated mind and polished manners, add
the more homely accomplishments of a good housewife. It is years since
she laid aside the weary cares of her plantation home, and entered on
the higher duties of another life; but her gentle words are still as
fresh in my memory, her kindly image as warm in my heart, as on that
autumn day, when she placed her hand in mine for the last time, and
spoke the last 'God bless you' which was to fall on my ears from her
lips on this side of the grave. She was a perfect woman--a faithful
mistress, a loving wife, a devoted mother. Anticipating every want of
her husband, cheerfully instructing her children, overseeing every
detail of her household, meting out the weekly allowance of the negroes,
visiting daily the cabins of the sick and the infirm, and with her own
hand dispensing the soothing cordial or the healing medicine,--or, when
all medicine failed, bending over the lowly bed of the dying, and
pointing him to the 'better home on high,'--she was a ministering
angel--a joy and a blessing to all about her. She wore no costly silks,
no diamonds on her fingers, or jewels in her hair; but she was arrayed
in garments all rich and beautiful with human love. She knew
nothing--cared nothing--about the right or the wrong of slavery; but
cheerfully and prayerfully, never wearying and never doubting, she went
on in the lowly round of duties allotted her, leaning lovingly on the
arm of the GOOD ALL-FATHER, and looking steadfastly to HIM for guidance
and support. And, truly, she had her reward. 'Her children rose up and
called her blessed; her husband, also, and he praised her.'

Supper was soon over, when my hostess rose and conducted me to the
library. That apartment was in an L, detached from the mansion, and
communicating with it by a covered passage way. It was plainly
furnished, but had a cosy, homelike appearance. Its four walls were
lined with books, some standing on end, some resting on their sides, and
some leaning negligently against each other; and over the massive centre
table were scattered open volumes, old newspapers, and unfinished
manuscripts, in most delightful confusion. A half dozen old-fashioned
chairs straggled about the floor, as if they did not know exactly what
to do with themselves, and a score of old worthies--their faces white as
chalk, and their long hair and beards powdered with a whole generation
of dust, looked complacently down from the top of the bookshelves. Dust
was on the table, on the chairs, on the floor, on the ceiling, and on
the musty old volumes ranged along the walls, and dust everywhere told
unmistakably that no profane hand ever disturbed the dusty repose which
reigned in the apartment.

Two or three oaken logs, supported on bright brass andirons--the only
bright things in the room--were blazing cheerfully on the broad
hearthstone; and drawing our chairs near, we sat down before them.

'May I come in?' said master Joe, thrusting his head in at the
half-closed doorway.

'No, my son,' answered his father; 'Mr. Kirke and I are to talk over
business matters.'

'Do let him come, Robert,' said Mrs. Preston; 'he is old enough to learn
something of such affairs.'

The lad entered, and seating himself on a low stool by the side of his
mother, and burying his head in her lap, was soon fast asleep.

'This room, Mr. Kirke,' said the lady, 'is sacred to Robert and the
dust. I beg you will not think I have the care of it.'

'Oh no, madam; it is plain that a _man_ has exclusive dominion here; but
your husband has been away from it for some time.'

'That does not account for the dust; it hasn't been stirred for a
twelve-month;' and after a pause, she added, a thin moisture glistening
in her eyes, 'I have not yet thanked you, sir, for saving Phyllis and
the children from the clutches of that wretched trader.'

'No thanks are requisite, madam. It was a mere matter of business; we
are in the practice of making advances to our consignors.'

'Nevertheless we thank you, sir; Robert and I will ever be grateful for

'Do not speak of it, madam; I would be glad to serve you to a much
greater extent.'

The lady made no reply, and a rather embarrassing silence followed for
some minutes, when I said:

'Preston, Joe is a remarkable negro; I think I never met one so
intelligent and well informed.'

'He _is_ very intelligent,' he replied; 'he has fine natural abilities.'

'It is a pity Nature gave him so dark a skin, and made him a--slave.'

'Not a _pity_, Mr. Kirke,' rejoined Mrs. Preston; 'Nature, or rather
God, always puts us in our right places. Joseph is more useful where he
is than he would be anywhere else.'

'I understood him that he was raised on the plantation,' I added.

'Yes,' replied my host; 'my grandfather bought his mother, who is a
native African, when she was a girl; she was a favorite house-servant,
and Joe was born in a room over where we are sitting. This building was
then all there was of the mansion.'

'And how did he pick up so much information?'

'The old gentleman, who gave little heed to either law or gospel, taught
them both to read and write.' (Years after the date of this conversation
I learned that Joe was the son of that lawless, graceless old
gentleman.) 'And Joe, when a boy, read everything he could lay his hands
on. Since I brought my library here, he has devoured about half of the
books in it. He devotes every night, from eight o'clock to twelve, to

'I am surprised that with so much reading he uses so entirely the negro

'But he does not. In common conversation he expresses himself in it, for
it is the dialect in which a black does his ordinary thinking; but let
him get upon an elevated subject, as he does frequently in his sermons,
and you will hear words as strong, pure, and simple as any found in the
Bible, flow from him like a stream.'

'Does he preach every Sunday?'

'Yes; I usually catechize the people in the morning, and he preaches in
the evening.'

'But do you learn all your negroes to read?'

'No, the law does not allow it. I teach them to repeat the catechism,
texts of Scripture, and passages from good books, and I explain these to

'And Joe is your overseer?'

'Not exactly that. My father made him overseer about thirty years ago,
but the law requires a white man in that situation; and when I took
charge of the plantation, the neighbors made a clamor about my having a
black. The result was, I 'whipped the devil round the stump,' by hiring
a white distiller, and _calling_ him 'overseer.' I let Joe, however,
'oversee' him, as you have seen to-day.'

A rap came then at the door, and master Joe, springing up, ushered the
subject of our conversation into the room. He held his hat in his hand,
and had under his arm a couple of account books.

'This is Joseph the First,' said the lad, taking the black by the
coat-tail, and bowing gravely to me.

'And you are Joseph the Second, eh?' I said, laughing.

'Yas, sar, he'm dat 'stinguished gemman,' replied the negro, stroking
affectionately the lad's head; 'and he don't dishonor de name, sar. He'm
de true blue, dyed in de wool.'

'He was named for Joseph,' said the lady, smiling kindly on the black.
'Bring up a chair, Joseph.'

'Tank you, missus,' and the negro seated himself by the fire, between
Preston and me.

'You have brought the documents, I see, Joe; let me look at them,' I
said, reaching out my hand for the books.

'Yas, sar, and dey'm all written up till a week back. I reckon _you_ kin
pick 'em out, Mr. Kirke, dough master Robert he say he don't understand
my way ob keepin' 'em.'

I opened the books, and any man of business will appreciate my surprise
to find them kept by 'double entry.' Cotton, corn, and turpentine had
each its separate account, and at a glance I could see how much had been
made or lost by the production of each staple. The handwriting was plain
and bold, and the general appearance of the ledger compared favorably
with that of a much larger one I knew of, which was the pride of an
experienced bookkeeper.

'Why, Joe, I'm astonished,' I exclaimed with unaffected gratification;
'you write like a schoolmaster.'

A flush, which would have been a blush on a lighter skin, overspread the
negro's face, as he replied:

'I don't hab practice 'nuff, Mr. Kirke, to write bery well.'

'Practice!' said Preston, 'he has constant practice; he writes the love
letters of all the darkies in the district.'

'It am so, dat's a fac, sar', said Joe, a quiet humor twinkling in his
eye. 'One ob Cunnel Dawsey's folk came to me tother day--his wife had
been sold down Souf, an' he wanted to say to har, dat dough ribers rose,
and mountins run atween 'em, he'd neber hab nuffin to do wid no oder
'ooman--so he come to me, and I wrote de letter; an' when I'd a put in
all de ribers, an' de mountins, an' eber so many runs, an' thought I'd
done it right smart, I read it ober to him, but he say he sort o'
reckoned it warnt quite done up 'pletely, not 'xactly 'cluded; an' he
'sisted dat I muss 'sert a pose scrip, axin' her to ''scuse de bad

'And you did it?'

'Yes, sar, I done it.'

'Well, Joe, the important thing just now, is how much you owe. Give me a
slip of paper, and let me put these balances together.'

'I'se done dat, Mr. Kirke; here dey am,' and he handed me a correctly
drawn-up statement, showing Preston's exact liabilities. I glanced over
it, compared it with the footings in the ledger, and said:

'I see by this, Preston, that you owe seventeen hundred dollars,
floating debt; twelve hundred dollars, interest on your mortgage, and
are overdrawn five hundred dollars on our house.'

'Yes, so Joe makes it, and I reckon he's correct.'

'But dar'm de six hunderd you 'cepted fur master Robert, de oder day, in
Newbern--dat ain't counted in,' said Joe.

'Well, all told, it's four thousand, besides the note I have given for
Phyllis. What do you calculate on to pay it, Preston?'

'I don't know. How can we pay it, Joe?'

'We moight sell de two stills, and some ob de hosses; I reckon dey'd be
'nuff,' replied the black; 'but de raal trubble, master Robert, am
what's cummin'; we'm gwine ahind ebery day, 'case we lose money on ebery
crop ob turpentine. Nuffin pay now but de corn and de cotton, and we
don't raise 'nuff ob dem to do no good.'

I turned to the ledger, and found that it showed what the black said to
be true--corn and cotton had made a handsome profit, but turpentine had
'paid a loss.'

'That is because your trees are old, and now yield scarcely anything but
scrape,'[1] I said.

'Yas, sar, and 'case dey am so thin like, sense we cleaned out de pore
ones, dat it take a hand long time to git 'round 'mong 'em.'

'Why not drop turpentine, and cut shingles from the swamp? You've a
fortune in those cypress trees.'

'My negroes are not accustomed to swamp work--it would kill them,'
replied Preston.

'Mr. Kirke,' said Joe,--'you'll take no 'fence, master Robert, if I says

'No, go on,' said his master.

'De ting am right in a nutshell, an' jess so clar as apple jack: we owes
a heap; we'se gittin' inter debt deeper an' deeper ebery yar; we lose
money workin' de ole trees; we hain't got no new ones; an', dar's no use
to talk,--master Robert _won't_ put de hands inter de swamp. What, den,
shill we do?'

Avoiding the darky's question, I said: 'I never before understood why
slavery is so clamorous for new fields. I see now--it can draw support
only from the virgin soil. It exhausts an old country: like the locusts
of Egypt, it blasts the very face of the earth!'

'That is true,' replied Preston; 'but Joe has stated the case correctly,
_What shall we do?_'

'One of two things. Sell your plantation and negroes, or take your hands
to a new section, where you can raise virgin turpentine.'[2]

'I cannot sell my negroes--they were all raised with me; and the
plantation--it was my ancestors', over a hundred years ago. I would move
the hands to a new section, but I have not the means to buy land.'

'Ay, dar's de rub, as Shakspeare say,' said Joe, with a pleasant humor,
intended, I thought, to cheer his master, whose face was clouding over
with grave thought; 'dat's de ting dat spile de 'gestion ob de king; and
in him sleep, such dreams do come ob suffin' better'n dis, some
undiscobered country, whar de virgin trees weep tears so white as
crystal, and turn to gole de moment dey'm barrled up, dat--'

'Come, Joe, that'll do,' said his master, laughing; 'don't give us any
more, or you'll murder _us_, as well as Shakspeare.'

'You don't 'preciate dat great man, master Robert,' rejoined Joe, also

'No, I don't--not just now.'

'If you could satisfy your outside creditors that things were likely to
go better with you in future, could you put off the payment of the three
thousand dollars for a time?' I asked.

'I reckon I could--nearly all of it,' replied Preston.

'Well, then, I'll make you a proposition. Buy ten thousand acres on the
line of the Manchester railroad. It is finished to Whitesville, and you
can buy land within twenty miles of that station, at seventy-five cents
an acre. We'll advance the twenty per cent. you'll have to pay down, and
five hundred dollars more to start you there, and hold the deed of the
land to secure us. Ship your produce to us, and agree to forfeit the
land, if, at the end of three years, you have not paid all the original
advance. Move your stills, and your able-bodied men and women there,
leaving the old and the young negroes here to raise corn and cotton.
_Hire_ fifty more prime hands, and put Joe over the whole, with
unlimited power to work them to death if he pleases.'

Preston leaned his head on his hand, as if bewildered. He seemed not to
understand me, but Joe's face lighted as if a stream of electricity were
playing under his dark skin. Mrs. Preston was the first to speak. Rising
and taking my hand, she said: 'Robert will do it, Mr. Kirke; and how can
we ever thank you enough for your generous--your _noble_ conduct toward
us? You have taken a weary load off our hearts.'

'It is a simple business transaction, madam; I expect to make money by
it. I insist on your husband's consigning his produce to us, and I shall
require the forfeit of the land and the improvements, if he does not pay
our advances within three years.'

'We kin pay 'em in _one_ year, an' you knows it, sar!' exclaimed Joe,
springing to his feet, and almost dancing around the room. 'Come, master
Robert, look up, an' tell 'im we'll do it, for ole Joe'll make de chips
fly as you neber seed 'em fly afore.'

Preston looked up, and a tear rolled down his face, as he said, 'I thank
you, my friend. I need not say more.'

'You need not say _that_; only buy the land, and make Joe autocrat of
the new plantation, and your bacon is cured.'

'Joe'll show you how bacon am cured, Mr. Kirke, an' he'll name his fuss
boy af'er you--_shore_!' shouted the black, grinning all over.

'He can safely promise that,' said the lady, laughing through her tears;
'for Aggy is fifty, and never had a child.'

A half-hour's conversation over the details of the proposed arrangement
followed; then Joe rose, and taking the account books under his arm,
bade us 'good evenin'.' As he was leaving the room, I asked, 'Do you
preach to-morrow?'

'Yas, sar, an' I'se gwine home to study ober de sermon. You'll come dar,
sar? You won't har no raal preachin', 'less master Robert feel de
sperrit move, fur de Lord don't gib de black man de tongue he gib de

'I'm not sure of that; but I'll be there. Good night.'

'Good night, sar, an' de Lord bless you.'

When he had gone, I said to Preston: 'You have admitted me to your
confidence, my friend, and asked my advice; therefore, I think you will
pardon me, if I make you a few business suggestions.'

'Most certainly, and I shall be guided by what you say.'

'With a hundred hands in those thick woods, Joe will turn out a vast
amount of produce. His ambition is excited with the idea of being his
own master, and he will coin money for you; but you need to be prudent.
You owe a mortgage of twenty thousand dollars--and mortgage debts are
the worst in the world. Your plantation and negroes may be worth three
times the amount, but they are in jeopardy so long as it exists. If it
were called in on you suddenly, you couldn't pay it--your property would
be sacrificed--everything might be lost. Now, I would suggest that you
sell, at once, your three hundred acres of swamp land, all your surplus
live stock and materials, and appropriate the proceeds to paying your
floating debt, and reducing the mortgage.'

'And we might reduce our family expenses, Robert,' said his wife; 'we
have too many house-servants. We could hire out five or six of them in
Newbern. And Joseph's schooling costs us five hundred dollars a year; he
might come home--_I_ could teach him.'

'You would take too much on yourself, Lucy,' replied her husband. 'You
are not strong, and you can't spare a single servant.'

'How many have you?' I asked.

'Nine,' said Preston.

'For a family of two adults and three children?'

'It strikes you as too many, Mr. Kirke,' said the lady, 'and it _is_. It
is our Southern way; but every additional servant makes additional work
for the mistress.'

'I think you are right, madam,' I replied; 'a Northern lady that you
know of, takes care of me, Frank, the two young children, and a large
house, with only two servants and an errand boy; and she never has
anything to do after two o'clock in the day.'

'But you have the Irish; they are better house-servants than our blacks;
and you can discharge them if they won't work,' said Preston.

'I would rather have Phyllis than any servant I ever saw at the North.
With her, the cook, and one more, I will promise to get on beautifully,'
remarked his wife.

Preston gave her a look of indescribable tenderness and affection. What
the negro trader had said to me, gave me a key to the thoughts that were
passing in his mind. His wife's trust in him was so great, that she was
willing to again admit into her family the woman who had made him
forget, through long years, the promises he made her in their youth!
Truly, the angel of perfect love and forgiveness makes its earthly home
in the breast of woman.

Preston's voice quivered as he replied: 'I--I appreciate what you
say--Lucy. Do as you think best.'

'But, madam,' I said, 'I think you are really taking too much on
yourself--the care of the children will be a great tax on your
strength. Would it not be better to employ a governess to instruct them?
What is now expended on Joe would pay a competent person.'

'What do you say to that, Joe?' asked his father; 'would you like to
come home, and have a woman teacher?'

'I'd like to do what mother wants me to,' said the lad, putting his arms
about her neck, and kissing her.

'You're a good boy, Joseph,' said his mother.

'But, you'll let me keep the pony, won't you, father?' said the lad.

'Yes, my son, and if you learn well, you shall go with uncle James when
you're fifteen.'

Shortly afterward we separated for the night.


On a gentle knoll, a few hundred yards from the negro quarters, and in
the midst of a grove of pines, whose soft brown tassels covered the
ground all around it, stood the negro meetinghouse. It was built of
unhewn logs, its crevices chinked with clay, and was large enough to
seat about two hundred persons. Though its exterior resembled a
backwoods barn, its interior had a neat and tasteful appearance.
Evergreen boughs hid its rough beams and bare shingled roof, and long
wreaths of pine leaves hung in graceful festoons from its naked walls
and narrow windows. On the two sides of a wide aisle, which served to
separate the sheep on the right hand from the goats on the left, were
long rows of benches, with hard board bottoms, and rough open backs, and
beyond them, divided from the rest of the interior by a rustic railing,
was the 'family pew,' an enclosure about twelve feet square, neatly
carpeted, and furnished with half a dozen arm chairs. Opposite to this
was a platform elevated three steps from the floor, and on it stood a
rustic settee, a large easy chair, and a modest desk covered with green
baize, and decorated with small sprigs of evergreen. On this desk rested
a large Bible.

The enormous seashell which served as a bell to this 'house of prayer,'
was sending its last blast in long echoes through the old trees, when,
with Mrs. Preston and the children, I elbowed an opening through the
thick group of grinning Africans that blocked the doorway, and 'worked a
passage' down the crowded aisle to the family enclosure. Seating myself
in one of its cane-bottomed seats, I glanced around on the assemblage.
Such a gathering of woolly heads I had never seen. Every plantation
within a circuit of five miles had sent in a representation, till the
benches, the aisle, the small area around the pulpit, and the open space
near the doorway, were all densely packed. On the left, the men, in
gaudy cravats and many-colored waistcoats, were chatting merrily
together, and enjoying themselves as heartily as a parcel of Yankees at
a clambake; and on the right, the women, in red and yellow turbans, and
flaming shawls and neckerchiefs, were bobbing about and flaunting their
colors, like so many dolphins sporting in the sunshine. Preston was
seated in the lone chair at the back of the pulpit, and Boss Joe and
Black Jack occupied the settee near him. The latter shortly rose to open
the services, and, in a moment, a deep silence fell on the noisy
multitude. The old preacher had carefully combed his thin wool into a
pyramid on the top of his head, and he looked, dressed in glossy black
pants, longtailed blue coat, ruffled shirt, and high shirt collar, like
a stuffed specimen at an exhibition of wax figures. Stepping rather
unsteadily to the front of the platform, he flourished his red cotton
bandanna, and spreading his huge claws over the large Bible, said:

'Dear bred'rin, leff us begin de worship ob de Lord by singin':

   'From all dat dwell below de skies
   Leff de Creator's praise arise.''

A half dozen darky fiddlers at the left of the pulpit tuned their
strings, and then the whole assemblage rose and burst into that grand
old hymn. As its last echoes were dying away, Joe got up, and opening
the large Bible, read, in a clear, mellow voice, a portion of the one
hundred and nineteenth Psalm. When he had concluded, the old darky again
came forward.

Gazing complacently around on the audience for a moment, he drawled out:
'My bred'rin, leff us raise our hearts to de Lord.' The whole
congregation then kneeled, and Jack, closing his eyes, clenching his
hands together, and throwing his head back, until his nose came nearly
on a line with the roof of the building, 'lifted up his voice' and

After the fashion of very many white preachers, he began by telling the
Lord all about Himself; all He had ever done, and all He is going to do;
how long He had lived, and how long He is going to live; how great He
is--'taller dan de mountin's, and bigger dan de seas.' How He made the
world in six days, and then, 'gittin' tired, rested on de sevenfh;' How
He formed man out of the dust of the ground, and then out of his rib
formed woman; how the woman tempted the man, and he fell, and how woman
has 'raised Cain' on the earth ever since. How He sent the flood, and
how Noah builded the ark; how Noah axed all the wild 'critters' into it,
and how they all came in two by two, and how Noah and the wild beasts
lay down lovingly together, till the 'wet spell' was over. How He chose
the Jews--a meaner race than the 'pore whites'--to be his peculiar
people; and how that proves His boundless love and unlimited goodness;
'fur no oder man in all creashun would hab taken _dem_ folks up, no
how.' How Moses, when he came down from the Mount, 'stumbled and broke
de law; and how 'ebery one of us dat hab come inter de worle sense, hab
stumbled and broke de law, 'case he did,' How Noah, though he was a
white man, and had a white wife, begat a black son; and how that black
son was a great sinner, and how all his descendants have taken after
him, and been mighty big sinners ever since.

Then he described the sinners, particularly the black sinners present;
and if half of what he said was true, every one of them deserved to be
sold 'down Soufh,' and kept on cold hominy and hoecake all the rest of
his days.

The prayer was a strange mixture of absurdity, presumption, and
profanity, and I felt relieved to hear his long 'amen,' and to see Joe
rise and again approach the pulpit.

Requesting some one present to raise a few of the windows (I took
occasion, afterward, to thank him for that very considerate thought),
Joe opened the Bible, and said: 'My friends, I am gwine to talk ter you
from de tex, 'An' dey drew an' lifted up Joseph out ob de pit, an' sold
Joseph to the Ishmaelites fur twenty pieces ob silver, an' dey brought
Joseph inter Egypt.'

'You all knows,' he continued, 'de story ob Joseph an' his bred'rin; how
dey wus raised up by dar fader Jacob in a wile country, whar dar warn't
no schools, an' no 'telligence, an' no larnin'; and how his fader lub'd
Joseph more dan all ob his bred'rin, an' make fur him a coat ob many
colors. But p'raps you don't know dat de Lord lub Joseph a great sight
better'n his fader did, an' 'case He lub him so, dat He hardened de
hearts ob his bred'rin agin him, till dey sole him to de Ishmaelites--de
slavetraders ob dem days, to be taken down inter Egypt. An' p'raps you
don't know dat Egypt wus a great country, whar dar wus schools, an'
churches, an' great libraries ob books, an' all manner ob sciences; an'
dat Joseph wus made de lord ob all dat country, an' dat finarly he got
his fader, an' his bred'rin, an' dar wifes, an' all dar little ones, to
come down dar, an' stay; whar, dough de tasks war sometimes hard, an'
dey hed to 'arn dar bred by de sweat ob dar brow, dey could git
knowledge an' larnin'. An' p'raps, too, you don't know dat de chil'ren
ob Israel, who war de chil'ren ob Joseph an' his bred'rin, when dey'd
staid down dar in Egypt de 'pointed time, war taken by de Lord inter de
lan' ob Canaan, which was a lan' 'flowin' wid milk and honey;' and dat
dey war gib'n dat lan' far dar possession. Now, my friends,' and he
paused and looked around on the congregation, 'de story ob Joseph am de
story ob de brack man; _he_ hab been taken out ob de pit; _he_ hab been
sole fur twenty pieces ob silver; _he_ hab been brought inter Egypt,
an', bless de Lord, _he_ am bound fur de lan' ob Canaan.

'He hab been taken out ob de pit. A pit, my friends, am a dark place,
whar de sun neber shine, an' de light neber come; an' Africa, de country
whar our faders an' our gran'faders come from--am a pit; fur de darkness
cobers dat lan', an' gross darkness de people dareof. Dey hab no
cloes--dey lib in cabins made ob clay, an' in holes in de groun'--dey
kill an' eat one anoder, an' dey'm allers at war wid one anoder. But de
white man he gwoe dar, an' he buy 'em fur twenty pieces ob
silver--dat's' zactly de price--twenty silver dollars--dey pay dat fur
'em up ter dis day--dem pore, ign'rant folks won't take nuffin' but
silver. Well, de white man buy 'em, and he fotch 'em to dis country,
which am like de lan' ob Egypt, full ob schools, ob churches, ob
larnin,' an' ob all manner ob good tings. Shore, we hab to wuck hard
har; some ob us hab to bear heaby burdens, an' to make bricks w'en dey
gib us no straw to make 'em wid; but we am in de lan' ob Egypt, whar we
hab knowledge ob de Lord; whar de gospil am preach to us, an' whar we
kin fine out de rode to de lan' ob Canaan. (To be shore, we karn't all
larn out ob de books; but book larnin' neber make a man, no how.) Yas,
my friends, yere we kin fine out de road to de lan' ob Canaan; an' do ye
know what dat lan' ob Canaan, dat'm waitin' fur de brack man, am? Do ye
'spose it am a lan' whar de days am hot, an' de nights am cole; whar
we'll hoe de cotton, an' gader de turpentine, an' cut de shingles in de
swamp? whar we'll wuck till we drop down; whar we'll hunger an' furst?
whar de fever will burn in our veins, an' de nager will rattle our bones
as de corn am rattled in de hopper? No, my friends, 'tain't no lan' like
dat! It am de habitation on high, de city builded ob de Lord, de
eberlasting kingdom founded by de Eternal God, who made heaben an'
'arth, de sea, an' all dat in dem is! Oh, tink ob dat, my friends, an'
hab courage! Tink ob dat when you'm a faint an' a weary, an' leff you'
hearts be glad, an' you' souls rejoice in hope. Fur dat lan' ain't
'spressly fur de white man--it am fur de brack man, too; an' ebery one
ob us, eben de brackest, kin git to it ef we'll jess foller der road--ef
we'll jess do our duty, bear meekly our burdens, an' lean humbly on de
arm ob de Lord. I knows it am so, my friends. I _knows_ it am so, fur de
oder night, when de deep sleep fell upon me, I dreamed a dream. I fought
dar come to my cabin, an' stood aside ob my bed, a great white angel,
wid feet dat touch de 'arth, but wid head dat reach unto de heabens. He
wore raiment shinin' like silver, an' on his head wus a girdle ob stars.
His face wus dazzlin' as de sun, an' his eyes war like flamin' fire. He
look at me, an' he say: 'Joseph, come up hither!' He reach out his hand
an' he lift me up--above de 'arth--above de clouds--above de stars--'way
up to de high heabens, whar am de sperrits ob just men made perfect, who
hab been redeemed from among men, who hab gone fru great tribulation,
whose garments hab been washed clean in de blood ob de Lamb! 'Dis,' he
say, 'am de city ob de livin' God, de heabenly Jerusalem, whose
foundations am saffomires, whose walls am silver, whose streets am gold,
whose houses am jewels an' all precious stones! Here de sun neber sets.
Here de storm an' de hurricane neber come, an' here, Joseph, am a
dwellin' prepared fur you--'here, ef you'm faithful an' 'bedient, you
shill come when you' wuck on de 'arth am ober!'

The speaker had been gradually warming with his subject till he uttered
this last sentence, when his voice trembled, his face glowed, and his
upturned eye seemed gazing on the ineffable glories of the land he was
describing. A stillness like that of death fell on the assemblage, and
the simple blacks, hanging breathlessly on his words, looked up to where
Joe's hand was pointing, as if they too had caught the vision on which
his eyes were feasting. In a moment, he continued:

'I looked round, an' I saw dat beautiful city; I breafed its air; I
walked its streets; I hard its music--de neber endin' song which its
countless people send up to de throne ob de Great Father; an' I say to
de angel: 'Do brack folks lib yere? Kin _dey_ come to dis beautiful
country?' an' he say: You shill see.' Den he lead me fru dose shinin'
streets, out inter de open fiel's whar war pleasant pastures, greener
dan any on de 'arth, an' still waters, dat sparkle in de sun, jess like
missus' diamonds in de light ob de fire.' (I did not know that Mrs.
Preston wore diamonds--she certainly had not worn them in my presence.)
'He lead me out till we come to a great woods, whar fount'ins war
playin', an' birds war singin', an' flowers war growin', an' de air wus
full of fragrance; an' dar I seed a great crowd ob people gadered
togeder, a listenin' to one dat wus a talkin' to 'em. Dar wus Ab'ram,
an' Isaac, an' Jacob,--dar wus Moses, an' Joseph, au' Samuel--dar wus
David, an' Solomon, an' de prophets--dar wus Paul, an' John, an'
Peter,--dar wus 'most all de great an' good men who hab libed in de
worle; an' dar too, right aside ob de one dat wus speakin', wus de
blessed Saviour, wid de woun' in his side, an' de print ob de nails in
his hands. An' who do you tink wus a talkin' dar, to all dem great
people? Who do you tink wus fought good 'nuff to stan' by de side ob de
blessed Saviour? It wus a brack man! It wus a brack man, who, down yere
had been ole, an' lame, an' blind, an' ob no account--so no account he
wouldn't sell fur nuffin'. He wus tellin' dem great folks ob de great
lub ob de Lord to him, an' dar tears rolled down as dey hard him. He
tole 'em how he use to lib in Car'lina--how he wus a slave; how he'd
'most nuffin' to eat; how he wus wucked in de swamp; how, 'fore de sun
rose, an' 'way inter de night, he use to stan' in de mud an' de water,
till his bones war sore, his heart wus weary, his soul wus faint. How
his massa flog him, 'cause he couldn't wuck no more, till de blood run
down his back, an' it wus a ridged like de ploughed groun'. How his wife
wus whipped to death afore his bery eyes; how his chil'ren--all 'cept
one--war sole 'way from him; how dat one 'bused him, an' flogged him,
an' tormented him, till he wus jess ready to die. How, when his hair wus
white, his body wus bent, his strength wus gone, an' he was ole, an'
lame, an' blind, his massa drove him 'way, and make him shirk fur
himseff. How he beg in de roads; how he sleep in de woods; in de cole
an' de rain, till a good gemman take him in, gib him a bed, tend to his
wants, an' pray ober him when he die. He tole 'em all dat; but he say
dat fru it all, he hab peace; fru it all, de Lord wus good to him; fru
it all, he felt His lub in his heart; fru it all, de blessed Redeemer
wus wid him; fru it all, he knowed dat mercy an' salvation am in de
heabens! An' DEY AM DAR! Dey took him 'way, 'way from de 'arth; 'way
from his suffrin's an' his sorrers down yere, to joy, an' peace, an'
rest up dar. Up dar, whar all great an' good men call him brudder--whar
de Lord Jehobah call him son, an' whar de blessed Saviour will leff him
stan' at his right hand, foreber and eber. An' he, my friends, wus a
BRACK MAN! An' who do you 'spose he wus? Who do you 'spose he wus?'

He paused for a moment as he repeated the question, and then, in a slow,
impressive manner, continued:

'It wus ole Cale--Cunnel Dawsey's Cale; an' dat good gemman dat take him
in and pray ober him when he die--wus _my_ master--yas, bless de Lord,
he wus MY master!'

As Joe uttered these last words, Preston bowed his head, his wife sobbed
aloud, and the black people gave out a low cry, as sad as the wail which
their own mourners breathe over the dead. Fixing his eyes on a tall,
stalwart negro in the audience, the preacher continued:

'An' he wus _you_' fader, Jake! You fader, who, when he wus down yere,
you 'bused, an' persecuted, an' treated like a dog, but who up dar am
fought worthy to stand at de Saviour's right hand! I _knows_ it wus him,
fur I seed him, I talked wid him, an' he gabe me suffin' to tell you.
Stand up now, an' yere what he hab to say.'

The black man's face assumed a dogged expression; he moved uneasily on
his seat, but showed no inclination to rise. In a firm, imperious tone,
Joe again called out to him:

'Stand up, I say! Folks like you' fader am now, don't talk to sech as
you when dey'm sittin' down: stand up, or I'll gib you what Cunnel
Dawsey neber gabe you in all you' life.'

The negro reluctantly rose. Every eye was fixed upon him as Joe

'He ax me to say to you, Jake, dat he lubs you--lubs you bery much--dat
he fully an' freely furgibs you fur all de wrong you eber done him; fur
all de tears an' de sorrer you eber cause him. And he say to me: 'Tell
Jake dat I'se been down dar an' seed him. I'se seed how he shirk his
wuck; how he 'buse his wife an' chil'ren; how he hate his massa, an'
mean to kill him--(dough his massa am hard on him, 'tain't no 'scuse fur
dat). How he swar, an' lie, an' steal, an' teach all de oder brack folks
to do de same. How he'm no fought ob his soul; no fought ob dyin'; no
fought ob whar he'm gwine when de Lord's patience am clean worn out wid
him. Tell him dat ef he gwo on dis way, he'll neber see his ole fader no
more; neber see his ole mudder, an' his little brudders, who am up yere,
too, no more; neber come to dis fine country, but be shet out inter
outer darkness, whar am weepin' an' wailin' an' knashin' ob teeth. Oh!
tell him dis, an 'treat him, by all his fader's keer fur him when he wus
a chile; by all his lub fur him now; by all de goodness ob de Lord, who
hab borne wid him fru all dese long years, to turn round--to turn round,
NOW, an' sot his face towards dis blessed country, whar he kin hab joy
foreber! Tell him, too, dat ef he'll do dis, dat his ole fader'll leab
his happy home an' come down dar an' holp him; holp him at his wuck;
holp him to bar ebery load; gib him strength when he'm weak; hole up his
feet when he'm weary; watch ober him day and night, all de time, till
he'm ready to come up yere, an' lib wid de Saviour foreber! Tell him--'

Joe paused, for a wild cry echoed through the building, and the negro
fell in strong convulsions to the floor.

A scene of indescribable excitement and confusion followed, during which
the black was carried out, and, more dead than alive, laid upon the
ground. When quiet was somewhat restored, Preston made a short and
feeling prayer, and then, after giving out a hymn, he dismissed the
congregation with the usual benediction.


[Footnote 1: 'Scrape' is the turpentine gathered from the face of the
pine. On old trees, the yearly incision is made high above the boxes,
and the sap, in flowing down, passes over and adheres to the previously
scarified surface. It is thus exposed to the sun, which evaporates the
more volatile and valuable portion, and leaves only the hard, which,
when manufactured, is mostly rosin. 'Scrape' turpentine is only about
half as valuable as 'dip.']

[Footnote 2: "Virgin" Turpentine is twice as valuable as "Dip."]



The sturdy oak which is not prostrated by the storm that assails it is
made thereby to take deeper hold, and to draw the sustenance for a
larger growth from the torn and loosened soil into which it has
opportunity to thrust new roots and tendrils. Reinvigorated by the
resisted violence, its branches shoot upward to the skies and extend
themselves laterally with majestic breadth. It gradually gains strength
and becomes so firmly rooted in its place that it bids defiance to the
repeated tempests vainly striving to overthrow it, and stands for
centuries, sublime in its unconquerable might and proud endurance. Our
noble Union, fiercely assailed in its early maturity, before its
strength has been fully developed, now bends before the hurricane of
civil war, swaying to and fro with fearful and threatening movements at
every paroxysm of the tremendous blast. We look on with intense agony of
suspense, to see whether it will stand the terrible ordeal, and outlive
the unexampled convulsion of social elements in which its strength and
endurance have been so sorely tested. Instinctively we know that if it
survive the present momentous crisis, successfully resisting the attack
of the enemy which assails it so furiously, its foundations will be
immensely strengthened, and its power of resistance in future dangers
will be indefinitely augmented. Prolonged and permanent existence, with
assured security and repose, will be the best and most indisputable
result of its triumph. Though shaken and torn by the deadly assault, and
to a certain extent deprived of its usual resources, in the very effort
of resistance it will have put forth new connections, which returning
peace will multiply and strengthen. The immense demand on its energy and
enterprise will have aroused all its slumbering capacities and
stimulated them to the highest point of exertion. Under the necessity of
self-preservation, the nation will have been fully awakened to a sense
of its gigantic power, which, when employed in the benign pursuits of
peace, will be sufficient speedily to restore its prosperity to even
more than former splendor. The resources of our broad domain are so
unbounded, and the courage and persistence of our people so indomitable,
that even the sacrifices and losses of so great a war will make no
serious impression on the destined career of this youthful and growing
nation. So long as the vigor and elasticity of the popular force is not
absolutely overpowered and suppressed, the reaction will only be so much
the stronger for all the mighty pressure which has been placed upon it.
Returning strength, so invigorated and redoubled by repose, will enable
the people to bear the burden patiently, and within a comparatively
brief period to throw it off entirely; and then they will bound forward
with renewed energy in that race of unexampled progress which has been
sadly interrupted, but not by any means wholly arrested.

If peace had continued, and especially if no civil war had occurred to
desolate our country, the labors of the population would have been
directed chiefly to the increase of wealth, and to the improvement which
always accompanies material prosperity. It would be a monstrous error to
say that the interruption of these occupations has not been a calamity
of the most serious character. Yet is it not altogether unmixed with
good. Indeed, it is by no means certain that, in the circumstances
which gave rise to the war, there was not an actual necessity, of a
moral nature, which made it on the whole advantageous to arouse the
nation to this gigantic strife, and thus to exchange its ordinary
struggle for wealth into a combat for a momentous principle. Is it
questionable whether, in every case, the establishment of such a
principle is not the most important of all objects, and whether every
other pursuit and occupation ought not to be made secondary to it? In
the sacrifices and sufferings which a nation undergoes for the sake of
asserting an important moral or political truth, there is always a
wholesome virtue that in some measure redeems the brutality and violence
which are the inseparable accompaniments of all wars, and which
peculiarly characterize the history of civil wars, in every age and
country. It is not merely the elevated and unselfish sentiment of
patriotism, as known in former ages, and expressed in the noble
sentiment, _dulce et decorum est pro patria mori_, which, engenders
lofty impulses and nourishes the rugged virtues of the soldier in the
heart; but the still higher sentiment of love for humanity and universal
freedom--a sentiment wholly unknown in what are called the heroic
ages--sanctifies the labors, the wounds, and the glorious death of the
martyrs who struggle and fall in such a contest. Men have often fought
and willingly died in the cause of their country, regardless of the
merits of the controversy between the opposing parties. There is a
certain manliness and devotion to others in this species of patriotism,
which commands respect and admiration; and this feeling of approbation
rises still higher when the cause of the nation is undeniably just, and
the self-sacrificing patriot is giving his life for the purchase of
liberty to his country. But the highest and noblest of all exhibitions
is that in which the sacrifice is made for the good of the race--for
principles in which all men are alike interested, and in which the
martyr can claim no peculiar advantage to himself or to his own branch
of the human family. The nation which accepts war for such a cause, and
wages it with all her means and energies, exhibits a moral grandeur
which, in spite of misfortune, has a saving power, capable of overcoming
and compensating all calamities, of whatever nature and extent. That
nation cannot be overthrown--not unless the laws of the Most High
himself can be subverted, and the right be made permanently to succumb
to the wrong. Let it be understood, however, that this assertion is made
only with reference to wars which are essentially defensive; for no
nation has the right to propagate even the best and noblest principles
by the power of the sword. In our case, it is true, other motives concur
in moving the nation to this tremendous struggle. Not merely the rights
and interests of an inferior, degraded, and suffering race appeal to our
humanity; but the unity and greatness of our country, its influence
abroad, and its success and prosperity at home, are all involved. It is
one of many instances in which the best and highest impulses of our
nature are reënforced by the dictates of the noblest and most elevated
of human interests--the interests of a nation, of a continent, yea, of
the world itself; for our gates are still open to the ingress of our
brothers from abroad, and our immense and fertile domain, as well as our
priceless institutions, are freely offered to their participation.

But, aside from the principles involved in the war, there are results of
an interesting character springing from it, which are well worthy the
attention of the statesman and the patriot. Two very opposite effects
are produced on the minds of the men engaged in such a contest as this,
or, indeed, in any contest of arms whatever, when it assumes the
proportions of a regular war. The volunteering of our young men of all
classes, in numbers so immense, is an extraordinary phenomenon. These
soldiers by choice, many of them educated and intelligent, and impelled
by deliberate considerations of principle, willingly undergo the hard
labor of military training, of marches and campaigns, and the still more
trying inactivity of life in camps and fortresses, in new and unfriendly
regions and climates. They fearlessly face death in every ghastly form,
on the battle field, by exposure in all seasons, by physical exhaustion,
and by the most dreadful contagious diseases. They devote themselves
unreservedly to the great cause, and in doing so exhibit the noblest
spirit of self-sacrifice, and that on the grandest scale presented in
history. Fortitude and courage, contempt of the most appalling dangers,
disregard of suffering and privation, wounds, mutilation, and lingering
death--these are the habits of soul which our citizen soldiers
cultivate, and which tend to strengthen and harden the character, and to
give it great moral force. The great qualities thus nurtured in the
bosom of the multitudes destined soon to return to peaceful life will
assuredly make a powerful impression on the whole society, which must be
thoroughly pervaded with the manly virtues thence destined to be infused
into it. Every man who has been conspicuous for his soldierly conduct
and for the faithful performance of duty will be an object of general
respect, though he may have passed unscathed through the fiery ordeal;
while every maimed and wounded citizen will be regarded as bearing on
his person, in his honorable scars and deficient limbs, the decorations
which exalt and ennoble him in the eyes of his countrymen. Many a
chivalrous deed will be recounted with pride and satisfaction, and
handed down to immortality by the pen of history and poetry, and by the
pencil and chisel of art. Even the undistinguished services of those who
have fought in the war for the Union, and who have passed unchallenged
through the fiery ordeal, will be cherished by their children, and
transmitted to their remoter posterity with patriotic pride and
pardonable self-satisfaction. Thus the glory of noble deeds in this
memorable war will everywhere shed its lustre on the national character,
and will tend to stimulate the loftiest virtues in the present and
succeeding generations.

But, on the other hand, the unavoidable dissipation of military life,
the vices of the camp, the brutality and want of moral sensibility
engendered by the necessity of slaughter and the horrible ravages of
war, will tend largely to counteract the good results already noted.
Those who may be nobly disdainful of their own sufferings, will
sometimes be even more regardless of the sufferings of others; and
perhaps sometimes, with the natural perversion of human passion effected
by civil war, will seek to avenge their own misfortunes by ungenerous
rigor and cruelty toward all within their power, suspected of favoring
the enemy only in thought or sentiment. Even this imperfect
discrimination is too often altogether omitted, and innocent loyalty is
made to suffer losses and severities which ought never to be visited on
non-combatants, even though they be of the enemy. The fearful disregard
of human life, and of the accumulations of human labor in the shape of
property, which marks the movements of our armies in almost all
quarters, and even distinguishes the conduct of some of our high
officials, constitutes one of the most serious evils which attend the
contest, and which will leave their natural consequences as a permanent
injury to the nation. The record of these misdeeds, now disregarded in
the hurry and excitement of the conflict, will hereafter confront us
with terrible effect. The bad acts themselves will long continue to bear
fruit after their kind, and to scatter the seeds of vice over the land.
Such drawbacks, however, accompany more or less all great military
operations, no matter how sacred the cause in which armies are engaged.
Yet, we fear, no such example of generous and unselfish devotion to a
holy cause can be found in our present experience as was exhibited by
the French people in their violent and bloody revolution of 1789. The
mercenary spirit has largely infected the military as well as the civil
agencies of our Government. But a people struggling for great principles
are compelled to use such instruments as may be at its command; and if
the material of armies and their connections in civil life be often of a
character to be degraded rather than elevated by the employments and
experiences of war, it is nevertheless certain that these bad effects do
not always, perhaps not generally, outweigh and overpower the good.

History does not present another example of large armies made up of such
men as those who now constitute the defenders of the Union. For
intelligence and moral worth, they are unsurpassed by the masses of any
population in the civilized world, and certainly they are far superior
in all respects to those usually constituting the armies of other
nations. To our shame and regret, there are certainly some exceptions to
this statement; but these are comparatively few, and mostly confined to
those who have not enjoyed the full advantage of our noble system of
universal education. In many instances, the best young men in the land
have gone into the army as privates; while in the rural districts and
from the Western States, the very bone and sinew of the population--the
sober, steady, intelligent, industrious, and prosperous part of the
people--have taken up arms in the cause of the Union, from a deliberate
approval of the policy of the war on our part, and from the noblest and
most unselfish motives of patriotism. The preponderance of such men in
our armies evidently makes them, on the whole, susceptible to the good,
rather than to the bad influences of war. Reflection, self-respect,
rational views of the causes and objects of the war, and elevated
motives of action, cannot fail to bring those who possess these
qualities all the benefits of self-denial, of patriotic labor willingly
expended, and of sacrifices made and sufferings endured in a good and
noble cause. The mental cultivation and moral training of the American
citizen constitute a shield, from whose solid and polished surface the
missiles of temptation, which easily penetrate other defences, usually
glance or rebound with harmless effect. The carnage of the battle field,
the bombardment and capture of cities, and the ravages of armies,
marching or in camp, which too often harden the hearts and blunt the
sensibilities of the ordinary soldier, have no such effect, or, at
least, a much less effect, in this particular, on the minds of humane
and educated men. Hence we may fairly anticipate that the influence of
this war on the men who compose the army, and who must sooner or later
return to the occupations they have temporarily left, will be of a far
better character than that of any war ever hitherto waged in any part of
the world. No such conditions have ever heretofore existed in reference
to any great national contest. Our immense volunteer army, so largely
composed of intelligent and respectable men--men who are fully capable,
and entitled by their votes, to influence the great measures of war or
peace--presents a spectacle new and wholly unexampled in history; and
the consequences of our contest to the moral and social condition of the
people will be correspondingly unusual and important. We may safely
assume from these considerations that the good will preponderate over
the bad.

There is, however, another species of influence of a more questionable
character, which is worthy of consideration in any attempt to anticipate
the consequences of this extraordinary rebellion. The nature of our
institutions renders them accessible to popular impulses at very brief
intervals of time; and it may well be expected, that, after the
conclusion of the war, especially if it be successful, a sentiment
nearly universal will prevail in favor of the elevation of the men who
have been conspicuous in the military service. There will be a
disposition to reward the successful soldier with civic honors, and to
place the conduct of the Government in the hands of men who have
exhibited only a capacity to lead and handle armies. The power of the
military men will in this way be prolonged. Doubtless, a great soldier
may be expected to show large executive abilities, and with proper
experience may well be intrusted with the management of the highest
offices in our country. There are times and occasions, of which the
present is a most memorable instance, when the peculiar capacities of a
great military leader would be of infinite service to the cause of
freedom and humanity, provided, at the same time, he should possess
undoubted integrity and patriotism, without any mixture of bad ambition.
A Washington, or a Jackson, in the Presidential chair at the
commencement of this rebellion, would have been of inestimable value to
our country, outweighing the importance of mighty armies and countless
treasure; for the value both of men and money, in such emergencies,
depends wholly on the skill and wisdom with which they are used and
directed. If God had vouchsafed us one grand will to control the human
tempest now raging around us, our noble country would have been saved
from many calamities and much disgrace, such as will require hard labor
and heavy sacrifices to overcome.

It is not, therefore, the probability that military men may frequently
be elevated to high office that need give any apprehension to the lover
of his country. But it is the almost certain prevalence of a blind and
undistinguishing sentiment of caste, which will seek to control the
elections in favor of the soldier under all circumstances, whether fit
or unfit for the position sought. We are likely to have soldiers in all
the executive offices, soldiers in the diplomatic service, in the
legislative halls, and even on the bench. The danger is that the popular
enthusiasm in favor of those who have served in the war will go to the
extent of substituting gallantry and good conduct in the field for those
very different qualifications demanded in responsible civil stations. A
wound received, or a limb lost, will, in many instances, constitute a
stronger recommendation for political preferment than long experience,
coupled with ability and high character. This disposition to reward
those who have faithfully served the country in time of war is an
amiable characteristic of the American people, and proves that, in this
particular at least, republics are not ungrateful. But it is clear, at
the same time, that the public gratitude, thus turned into political
channels, may be productive of great evil, by lowering the character of
the men employed in performing public functions of importance. Already
the results of our elective system have become the subject of intense
anxiety in the minds of reflecting men. Notwithstanding the extensive
provision made for the education of our people, of the universality and
efficiency of which we justly boast, an almost equal extension of the
elective franchise has not tended to improve the wisdom of the popular
choice, or the character and qualifications of the men selected in
latter times to fill high public offices. So seriously is this truth
felt, that it is now a political problem of the first importance to
devise some means by which the frequent elections in our country may be
made to work more certainly and uniformly to the elevation of good and
able men, who now too often shun rather than seek employment in the
national service. If this indispensable improvement cannot be
accomplished, our institutions are in danger of falling into contempt,
as exhibiting no very great advance on the old modes of hereditary
designation of political functionaries. The party machinery of the
present day, adapted chiefly to the purpose of availability and the
means of securing success at all hazards, is mostly responsible for the
degeneracy which unquestionably characterizes the public men of this
day, in comparison with those who in former times filled the same high
stations. In view of these facts, it may be that the military regime
about to be ushered in as a consequence of the great existing war, will
of itself be an improvement, since it must be acknowledged there is some
merit in the devotion and sacrifices of those who fight the battles of
the Union, while it is notorious that corrupt political parties too
frequently select and reward their leaders without regard to merit at

It may be said that there is inconsistency and contradiction in the
views presented, inasmuch as the claim for remarkable intelligence and
superiority in the rank and file of the army would imply too much
patriotism and self-sacrifice to admit of the consequences suggested.
But we must remember the immense numbers of our army, its large
proportion to the whole population, the _esprit de corps_ so naturally
engendered in such a body, and the powerful influence it may wield by
turning the scale in our inveterate and often nicely balanced partisan
contests. We must also take into consideration that well known principle
of human nature, as old as government itself, which seems to impel all
men possessing irresponsible power to abuse it, and employ it for their
own selfish advantage. This is peculiarly the case with _classes_ which
gain ascendency, as such, over the other parts of the community.
Political parties in our country will surely not fail to seek alliance
with the citizen soldiers at the close of the war, and to secure success
by all the arts and devices which can be made available to that end. But
let us hope the good sense and patriotism of our young men, their
moderation and self-control, will be as conspicuous in future political
campaigns, as in those more glorious ones which are yet destined to
overthrow our enemies and restore our inestimable Union to its former

But it is not our purpose to confine these remarks to the loyal States
and the Union armies; nor is it at all paradoxical to extend them to the
region and the population controlled by the rebel government. Every good
citizen, having confidence in the supremacy of right and the destiny of
our country, anticipates the reunion of the States at the conclusion of
the war. The bulk of the Southern army must likewise return to society,
and carry with it such influence as it may derive from the peculiar
character of its cause, the motives by which it is animated, and the
acts, good or bad, noble or mean, which it may perform. It cannot be
denied that the soldiers of the rebel army have exhibited the highest
personal qualities, of daring courage, skilful enterprise, patient
endurance, and the most indomitable perseverance, under difficulties
apparently insuperable. Their cause is bad. The impartial judgment of
mankind will pronounce it so, when the passions of the hour shall have
completely subsided. But the masses of the Southern people evidently do
not take this view of the war they are waging against the Government
which has so long protected them, and under which they have acquired all
the strength they are now ungratefully using to overthrow it. They have
been artfully misled into the belief that they are engaged in a war
altogether defensive--that they are fighting _pro aris et focis_--in
short, that they have given themselves up to the holiest work which any
people can ever be called on to undertake. Doubtless, in frequent
instances, and sometimes among considerable populations, different
sentiments prevail and have been entertained from the beginning. A
glimmering of the truth may occasionally dawn on the minds of those who
went into the contest with entire confidence in the justice of their
cause. But on the whole it is vain to deny the sincerity and the deep
convictions of the Southern people. Nothing less than these could have
sustained them in the appalling difficulties of their position. No
people ever conducted a more brilliant and successful defensive war
against the vast odds, on land and sea, with which they have had to
contend. Let us be sufficiently magnanimous to confess the truth,
unpleasant though it be, and acknowledge that they have hitherto
outmanaged us in the general conduct of the war. They have exhibited an
earnestness and determination, a gallantry and devotion, worthy of the
highest purposes that ever call forth the energy of struggling nations.
It is vain to say they are compelled by a military despotism; for,
however strong and arbitrary their government may be, it evidently rests
upon the support of the people, and it could never continue the present
contest against popular disaffection at home joined with the mighty
invading armies of the Union.

What then are to be the results of great efforts and sacrifices in a
cause which, though we believe it to be bad, they consider holy? Are
their chivalrous deeds to be less ennobling to the character of Southern
men, than similar ones, springing from like motives, on the part of our
armies? It is the motive which gives character to all actions, and
mistake or error of the most perverse kind, when arising from honest
conviction, cannot alter the merit of what is done or suffered. If it be
said that the assumed convictions of the Southern people are incredible,
it is only necessary to look back a few centuries, in order to see the
whole Christian world entertaining sentiments equally abhorrent to the
enlightened conscience of the present day. The universal participation
in the slave trade, and the horrible persecutions for religious heresy,
which everywhere prevailed, are sad evidences of the possibility of
indulging the most disastrous errors with perfect sincerity. Besides, if
we consider how great a diversity of opinion prevails among the people
of the loyal States, on the subject of the rebellion and its causes, it
will require no great degree of credulity to induce the belief that the
Southern people are impelled by deep convictions in their present

Failure and defeat on their part will cast the usual discredit on the
cause which is overthrown; and in this case we do not entertain a doubt
that ultimately the right will prevail, and that the discomfiture and
disgrace will fall where justice would require. Men will be deeply
mortified to find themselves utterly overcome, and all their brave deeds
and their magnanimous sacrifices and sufferings expended in a failing
and a bad cause. It will be their great misfortune that serious
reflection and conviction should come to them only after these great
events, and when it is too late to recall them. But it is the peculiar
characteristic of contests like this, that they do eventually make clear
the subjects of dispute in which they originate. All the wranglings of
politicians, and all the learning and logic of contending theologians in
divided churches, could never accomplish the speedy and thorough
decision of contested questions which will follow this tremendous war.
Bold and extra-constitutional expedients necessarily grow out of the
prevailing violence. They will soon test the possibility of measures
which are too great for ordinary times, and will push the existing
tendencies toward fundamental change into sudden and premature

Physical strength and success in war are by no means fair tests of truth
and principle; but in the present contest, such is the condition of our
country and the character of its relations with the civilized world
that, if the Union shall be restored to its former integrity, the result
will give strong evidence of the righteousness of our cause. Such are
the temptations to foreign interference, and such the evident
disposition of the ruling dynasties in some powerful nations to destroy
the influence and example of this great republic, as well as to break
down her rivalry in commerce and manufactures, that nothing but a holy
cause, appealing to the moral sense of mankind, could prevent the
natural alliance between despotism abroad and the kindred system in the
South which seeks to establish its tyranny on the ruins of our
Government. Besides, the diverging systems of policy in the two sections
have carried on their struggle for more than a quarter of a century,
under conditions which make it demonstrable that their present
inequality of strength and means is the direct consequence of these
divergencies. Their long-continued emulation, passing through all the
stages of envy, hatred, and political contention, has finally culminated
in bloody civil war; and from the peculiar circumstances of the case,
the termination of the contest, if the parties be left to themselves,
will fully and fairly test the physical strength and moral force of the
contending principles. The better principle, by virtue of its superior
growth, will overthrow the worse and weaker one, which has relatively
declined in power throughout all the long contest between the two.
Enlightened convictions will grow up as the mighty conflict subsides;
and institutions will be modified in conformity with the truths which
are destined to appear through the blaze and smoke of battle.

Heaven forbid that we should confound moral distinctions, and place
treason and rebellion on the same footing with patriotic devotion to the
cause of Union and liberty. Political and moral errors, however innocent
in intention, stand on the same footing, as to their consequences, with
all other violations of natural law. They bring retribution inevitable;
nor can the blind and ignorant partisan of wrong entirely escape the
shame of his misconduct, on the ground of erroneous judgment. But let us
not arrogate to ourselves a superiority of virtue, which in reality we
have no just right to claim. Are we sure that, even on our side, which
we consider that of truth and humanity, all our individual motives are
up to the level of the great principles involved? Are we not rather, to
some extent, the blind instruments of social causes, stronger than our
own will, and while seeming to follow the inclination of our own
enlightened minds, are we not impelled by passion and ambition in the
inevitable direction indicated, and even necessitated, by the
circumstances surrounding us? Are not similar influences operating on
the Southern mind, and forcing it, with a compulsion equally inexorable,
into the fatal current of civil war? With the masses on both sides, this
is undoubtedly true. Whole communities do not engage in such disastrous
strife in mere wantonness and wicked advocacy of a bad cause. Either
their judgment is distorted, or their passions aroused to such an extent
as to render them utterly blind to the true nature of the principles
involved, and to make them believe they are acting, under the strongest
provocation, for the defence of their honor, their interests, and their
acknowledged rights. Every liberal mind will readily concede the
existence of these sentiments and motives.

But suppose the war ended by the overthrow of the rebellion and the
restoration of the Federal authority: what is to be the effect in those
States which have been the theatre of the great conspiracy, whence have
issued all the mighty armies which have assailed so fiercely the
Constitution and Government of our fathers? Will the men who have shed
their blood freely to destroy the Union ever again be brought to sustain
it with sincerity and zeal? Can they be expected to acknowledge their
profound error, and receive again heartily to their affections and
willing obedience the authority which they have so haughtily spurned and
sought to smite with utter destruction? This is a momentous question. It
is the most important which can be presented to the country at the
moment of its anticipated triumph, when the fearful clash of arms is
about to subside and give place to the serious labor of conciliation and
reconstruction. To conquer the rebellion will be, at least, to make all
its aims utterly hopeless. Failure and disaster will be forever stamped
upon the ideas on which the revolution has been founded, and they, with
their inspiration, good or bad, will be permanently overthrown, together
with the men who have used them so efficiently for the inauguration and
continuance of this tremendous strife. There is wonderful power in the
success of an idea, as there is a corresponding influence in the utter
overthrow of its physical manifestations and efforts. A cause rendered
hopeless by defeat ceases to sustain the passions which it has excited,
under the influence of which it has made itself respectable and
powerful. If it be founded in truth and right, it will have within
itself the elements of resuscitation, and it can never become altogether
hopeless. But if it have no such basis of substantial truth, its failure
once is for all time. The hearts of men cannot long cling to such a
cause. Its traditions even become odious, and the effort will be to
ignore and forget its incidents, and to escape the discredit of having
participated in its ambitious struggles.

But to conquer the rebellion is not to subjugate the South. This is a
distinction of the utmost importance in attempting to estimate the
consequences of the great struggle. So far from the subjugation of the
Southern people resulting, in any contingency, the success of the Union
arms must be their regeneration and redemption. To overthrow the
confederate government will be only to relieve the people from its
grasp, and to reinstate them in the rights and liberties which they have
hitherto enjoyed. A combination of force, fraud, and self-delusion has
sustained the power of the rebel dynasty, and enabled it to wield the
influence and authority of the whole people of the seceding States, with
some few remarkable exceptions. To break up this combination will do
more than merely defeat a hostile power: it will, in effect, annihilate
the whole vicious organization, and leave its elements free to engage in
other combinations, more in accordance with right, and better calculated
to secure success and prosperity. It is not unreasonable to anticipate
that they will eventually resume their former relations with the Federal
Government, as most conducive to these ends. There are some men, perhaps
one whole class, who can never escape the responsibility of all the
overwhelming evils and calamities which the war has brought upon the
South. The cordial acquiescence of these can hardly be anticipated; but
their power will be completely destroyed, and the people may well be
expected to disregard their murmurs and complaints. Indeed, it is not
altogether unlikely that an injured and exasperated people may turn on
the authors of their ruin, and wreak upon them a fearful vengeance, so
far, at least, as to ostracize and banish them forever from the land
they have blighted and destroyed. The masses of the people, holding few
or no slaves, though involved in the war by force of the general
delusion into which they have been artfully inveigled, will not consider
themselves responsible for its consequences; they will rather look on
themselves as the victims of designing men, who, for selfish purposes,
have partly seduced and partly impelled them into the perils and
disasters of a gigantic but fruitless rebellion. This state of feeling
will leave the minds of the Southern people in a condition to estimate
fairly their own relations to the rebellion, and their obligations to
the Union, which again calls them, with paternal tenderness, to its
generous confidence and magnanimous protection. They will have no cause
for apprehension that their restoration to good fellowship and perfect
equality will not be complete and free from all unfriendly reservations.

But this influence will not operate on those alone who have few or no
slaves, comprehending the great mass of whites: it will exert itself
more notably on the large body of slaves themselves. This is an element
in the calculation which, humble though it be, cannot be overlooked
without great error in the results. A fundamental change will take place
in the condition of the blacks. They will be emancipated, either
gradually and safely, or with violent precipitation, with all its evils
and disasters. Yet, however the decree may come, whether by the sudden
blow of military power, or by the free and cheerful coöperation of the
States and their people, the measure itself will be plainly the result
of the rebellion, as met by the firm and noble stand assumed by the
Federal Government, and maintained at so great a cost of treasure and of
precious lives. The Government which, out of civil war and chaotic
strife, brings such advantages--out of calamity and danger educes such
blessings of security and progress will be entitled to the unbounded
gratitude of those who will be the chief gainers by its policy. But
experience will soon teach the whites that they will be equal gainers in
the end; and, in time, we may justly expect not only their cheerful
acquiescence, but their renewed allegiance and ardent support to the
Federal authorities.


   When you contract for boots and shoes,
   Be not contracted in your views.

   When you agree to clothe the body,
   Expand your soul and flee from shoddy.

   No soul the difference can see
   'Twixt chico-rye and chicoree.

   'Tis wise to feed the soldier well:
   For reason _why_--see Dante's 'Hell.'


The genial pen of Mr. Leland has found an attractive theme in the title
of this curious and suggestive volume. Without the formality of an
inexorable system, it is written from the impulses of a large and
sympathetic nature, more accustomed to the acute observation of details
than to exact and rigid generalizations, but sending free and
penetrating glances beneath the surface of social life, and presenting a
variety of sagacious hints and comments, often admirable for their
quaint, original illustrations, and seldom destitute of an important
ethical bearing and significance.

In the composition of this work, Mr. Leland has aimed at the defence of
that view of life which combines a cheerful earnestness of purpose with
manly energy of action, as opposed to the melancholic, whining,
lachrymose spirit, which has been affected by certain popular modern
poets, and, through their vicious example, has been cherished as one of
the essential qualities of genius. Of this style of character Mr. Leland
has not the slightest degree of tolerance. Its manifestations are all
abominable in his eyes, and unsavory in his nostrils. He cannot endure
its presence; he regards its exercise as a nuisance: its permission in
the plan of a kindly Providence is a mystery.

The influence of a morbid melancholy, whether affected or genuine, in
the literature of the United States, is justly a matter of surprise and
lamentation with the author. The American mind, as he remarks, has
doubtless a strong tendency to humor. It delights in the expression of a
mischievous irony or good-natured sarcasm. The querulous wailings which
are the stock in trade of a certain class of writers are unnatural and
discordant sounds. We should expect rather a serene and cheerful melody
from a young and brave-hearted race, which is in intimate relations with
the external world. Instead of this, we have sucked in with the milk of
our Puritan mothers a forlorn and sorrowful spirit. We celebrate our
festivals with a sad countenance. We attempt to make merry by singing
dismal psalms. We weave our woes into poetry, and expand our
wretchedness in plaintive declamations.

This is a wide departure from the genius of Christianity, as well as
from the healthy instincts of humanity. In the first ages after Christ,
the newborn element of thought was a pure and beautiful spring, bubbling
up from the moss-grown ruins of the temple of heathendom. A hopeful,
joyous tone is indicated in the symbols of the early faith preserved in
the Vatican. It contained the germ of republican freedom and of a benign
and beneficent civilization. But it was driven by political convulsions
toward the East, and returned in the melancholy robes of the dreamy and
morbid oriental. It learned from Indian fakirs that laughter was a sin,
that misery was meritorious, that the hatred of beauty and joy was a
virtue in the sight of Heaven. The early Christians were imbued with the
sentiment of moral grandeur and loveliness; they represented Christ our
Lord as the fair ideal of humanity; but a darker age decreed that his
form should be meagre and homely--misled by those pagan Syrian pictures,
which still disfigure the churches in Russia, and whose original may be
found in the avatars of violence, modified by old Persian influence.
From the seventh to the twelfth century, the tendency to asceticism was
rampant. Beauty was proscribed as a temptation of the devil; deformed
and crooked limbs were ranked among the beatitudes; even dirt was
apotheosized, and, as a consequence, millions of men were mowed down by
unheard-of forms of disease. Humanity did not submit to this rule of
austerity and torture without a struggle. There was often a brave,
vigorous resistance. A lively protest was uttered in the joyous strains
of the troubadours and minnesingers. The glad spirit of nature could not
be wholly suppressed, and from amid the social oppressions of the times
sweet voices fell upon the ear, celebrating the praises of woman, the
love of beauty, and the joyousness of life.

But, according to our author, none of the great names in literature have
ever proclaimed the evangel of cheerfulness in all its health and
purity. The world as yet has never been fit to receive it. Years may
pass before it will be fully unfolded. Society is still in its earliest
March spring. The fresh winds which blow are still wild and chill; the
nights are long and dreary; and during these gloomy hours, the ancient
crone still relates horrible legends to believing ears. If the elder or
wiser ones only half believe them, most of the listeners still shiver at
their weird, grotesque poetry, and when they make new songs for
themselves, the old demoniac strains still linger on the air, showing
the origin of their earliest lays.

In order to illustrate the lack of true joyousness in the literature of
the world, Mr. Leland takes a rapid survey of some of the most
distinguished writers in ancient and modern times. Aristophanes, he
maintains, did not possess the genuine element in question. Allowing the
claims of the great satirist to genius, he had not reached the perennial
springs of cheerfulness in the depths of the human soul. In his gayest
arabesques, we trace the eternal line of life, but the deep, monotonous
echo of death is always nigh. He still had the sorrows which grieve the
strong humorist of every age. He could not escape the deep woe of seeing
social right and human happiness trodden under foot by tyranny; and
folly and ignorance, pain and sorrow were the great foundation stones on
which the gay temple of Grecian beauty was built. For every free citizen
who wandered through the groves of the Academy, holding high converse
with Plato, and revelling in the enjoyment of the divinest beauty in
nature and art, there was an untold multitude of slaves and barbarians,
into whose lives was crowded every element of bitterness.

But surely, the great sage of humor, glorious Father Rabelais, of later
days, was an exception to the prevailing rule of joyousness in
literature? Not at all, contends our author. To the young mind which
hungers for truth and joy, there is something irresistibly fascinating
and persuasive in the jolly philosophy and reckless worldly wisdom of
Rabelais. But after all, it will not do. It is anything but attainable
by most of the world. It demands good cheer and jovial company. But it
dies out in the desert, and is stifled among simple, vulgar associates.
Rabelais believed that he sacrificed to freedom, when he only worshipped
fortune. He went through the world, familiar with the ways of princes
and peers, priests and peasants, travelling in many lands, exhausting
the resources of art and learning, seeing through the sins and shams and
sorrows of life, and laughing at everything, like a good-natured,
large-hearted Mephistopheles. But he had never learned the true
philosophy of joyousness in the sincere love of nature, the deep phases
of humanity, and the affluence and purity of strong affection.

Nor do we find a better specimen in the renowned English humorists,
Sterne and Swift. The former closely follows his French prototype in
grotesque fancies: he abounds in tender and delicate pathos, though in
the highest degree artificial and forced; but do we ever arise from
reading him, like a giant refreshed by wine? Sterne, in fact, has even
less of the true philosophy of life than Rabelais. He affords no
stimulant to joyous, healthy action, awakens no impulse to gladden life,
or to make sorrow less and hope greater. It may be all very touching,
very comic, very ingenious, but it is not healthy or joyous. And Swift?
An immense fund of laughter, doubtless, had the witty Irish dean; but as
little claim to be a joyous writer as the prophet Jeremiah, or the
author of 'Groans from the Bottomless Pit.' The men who have been spoken
of dealt largely in satire and humor; but joyousness deals in infinitely
more. Mirth and laughter are all very well, but they are not all in all.
Cheerfulness requires something more than a well-balanced Rabelaisian
nonchalance in adversity and a keen relish for all pleasure.

The relation of Christianity to the theme of the volume presents a
delicate, and, it may be thought, a dangerous topic of discussion, for a
so decidedly secular pen as Mr. Leland's; but he touches upon it with
freedom and boldness, though with frankest sympathy and reverence for
the great Spirit, whose religion is the most significant fact in the
history of the world. 'I must confess,' says he, 'that even regarded
from a material and historical point alone, that is a poor, cowardly
soul, which does not feel the deepest earnestness of truth in
acknowledging the Wonderful One, Jesus Christ, as the Lord and Saviour
of the whole world.' His sublime soul, profound, universal, loving
beyond all power of human conception, introduced a new era for humanity.
Under his teaching, philosophy became indeed truly divine, for it became
infinite, and was thrown open to all. He first of all opened the
consolations of free thought, of freedom from old superstition, of love,
and strength, and inward joy, to the whole race of mankind. No narrow
limits of sect or caste or nationality cramped him, the first great
Cosmopolite. We cannot sufficiently admire the infinite adaptability,
the universal knowledge of humanity, the boundless sympathy with man,
which are everywhere manifest in the original Christian philosophy of
life. What a depth of meaning in the symbolic bread and wine, typical of
the life which flows through eternity and all its changes, of human love
and birth and death, of bounteous, beautiful nature, with its
continually renewed strength--the whole given, not in funereal guise,
not with sombre fasting, but as a joyous feast.

The New Testament abounds in symbols, parables, and proverbs, taken from
ancient tradition, but beautifully woven into a purer faith, which
taught that the healthy joys of life, and all knowledge of divine truth,
should be given not to a few kings or priests, a few favored with
initiation into divine mysteries, as of old, but to the whole world; for
the spirit of Christianity was identical with the genius of
republicanism. As taught by our Lord Jesus Christ, it was eminently
healthy, brave-hearted, and joyous. It did not commend celibacy, nor
excess of fasting, nor too long prayers, nor righteousness overmuch. It
did not approve of a plethora of outward goods, while the culture of our
highest faculties was neglected. It condemned all excess of care, even
in our daily duties, at the expense of that 'better part' which
distinguishes us from mere ants or bees. It gave no warrant for the
dismal dirges and melancholy groans which are raised in its name, by men
whom Jesus would have been the first to reprove. 'It was a religion of
life and of beauty, of friendship and temperate mirth, of love, truth,
and manliness; one which opposed neither feasting at weddings nor "going
a fishing."'

The temptation to find a refuge from the evils of life in active
exertion, instead of cultivating the sources of joy in our own nature,
is the subject of an ingenious and striking chapter. In a land, where
enjoyment in many minds is connected with a sense of sin, it is
doubtless better that the overflowing energy of character, which is a
trait of the population, should seek vent in the excitements of labor,
than in poisonous liquors, horse races, politics, and the gaming table.
Where the natural support of life is wanting, partial methods of relief
may be employed. He who can no longer swallow, may gain an imperfect
nourishment by means of baths, or artificial transmission. So, the grim
and hardened soul, which has lost the support of inward cheerfulness,
may find strength in work, merely for the sake of work. But it is a
fraud upon humanity to educate men solely as industrious animals. Hives
are beautiful, honey is sweet, and wonderful is the cunning structure of
the cell; but society is not a hive, nor the people bees. The day is
dawning when it will be understood that cheerful songs are as essential
to genuine manhood as work; that labor is not to be borne as a curse,
with sighs and groans; but combined with mental culture, will become
capable of self-support, and will supply its own enthusiasm.

The great problem of the age is the union of beauty with practical uses.
In their highest forms, art and science blend and become identical, just
as the Beautiful and the Good assimilate, as we trace them to their
source in Truth. While art becomes more practical, it loses none of its
beauty. In the infancy of science, it was mainly devoted to the
illustration of the fanciful and ornamental. Even architecture, in the
early ages, looked less to permanent comfort than to artistic effect.
But everything now tends to realization. Poetry and art fall in with
this influence of the age. Science is every day taking man away from the
purely ideal, the morbid and visionary; from the fond fancies of old
eras, and leading him to facts and to nature.

Mr. Leland never becomes formal or spiritless in the treatment of his
favorite topics, and often rises to a high degree of enthusiastic
eloquence. Witness the following noble appeal in behalf of a cheerful
earnestness in the cultivation of literature and art:

     Young writer, young artist, whoever you be, I pray you go to work
     in this roaring, toiling, machine-clanking, sunny, stormy,
     terrible, joyful, commonplace, vulgar, tremendous world in
     _downright earnest_. By all the altars of Greek beauty themselves,
     I swear it to you; yes, by all that Raphael painted and Shakspeare
     taught; by all the glory and dignity of all art and of all Thought!
     you will find your most splendid successes not in cultivating the
     worn-out romantic, but in _loving_ the growing Actual of life.
     Master the past if you will, but only that you may the more
     completely forget it in the present. He or she is best and bravest
     among you who gives us the freshest draughts of reality and of
     Nature. It lies all around you--in the foul smoke and smell of the
     factory, amid the crash and slip of heavy wheels on muddy stones,
     in the blank-gilt glare of the steamboat saloon, by the rattling
     chips of the faro table, in the quiet, gentle family circle, in the
     opera, in the six-penny concert, the hotel, the watering-place, on
     the prairie, in the prison. Not as the poor playwright and little
     sensation-story grinder see them, not as the manufacturers of
     Magdalen elegies and mock-moral and mock-philanthropical tales skim
     them, but in their truth and freshness as facts, around and through
     which sweep incessantly the infinite joys and agonies, the dreams
     and loves and despair of _humanity_. Heavens! is not LIFE as
     earnest and as mysterious and as well worth the fierce grapple of
     GENIUS, here and _now_, in this American nineteenth century, as it
     ever was under the cedars of Italy, the olives of Greece, or the
     palms of Morning Land? Are there not as much, or more vigor and
     raciness in the practical souls of the multitude and in their
     never-ending strife with Nature, as among the spoiled and dainty
     darlings of fortune and among the nerveless, mind-emasculated
     Victims of Society who sing us their endless Miserere from the
     Sistine chapels of fashionable novels? You know there is, and if
     you watch the time, you may see that it is the warm truth from real
     life, which is most eagerly read and which goes most directly to
     the hearts of all. Never yet in history was there an age or a
     country so rich in great ideas, in great developments, or which
     offered such copious material to the writer as these of ours. Be
     bold and seize it with a strong hand. Those who are to live after
     us will wonder as we now do of the great eras of the past, that
     there were so few on the spot to picture them. Yet, why speak of
     _great_ scenes, when humanity and Nature are always great--great in
     small things even, far beyond our utmost power of apprehension?
     Forget the spirit of the past, live in the present, and thus--and
     thus only--you will secure a glorious and undying reward in the

The fault of this volume, in the eyes of many readers, will be a certain
confusion in the arrangement of the matter, and the want of sufficient
expansion in the development of some of its leading suggestions. But it
must be judged as the earnest utterances of a poet, rather than a grave
didactic treatise. With the purpose which the author had in view, a
spice of rhapsody is no defect. He presents a beautiful example of the
smiling wisdom of which he is such an eloquent advocate. He has an
intuitive sense of the genial and joyous aspects of life, and has no
sympathies to waste on the victims of 'carking care' or morbid
melancholy. A more complete exposition of the conditions of cheerfulness
in the nature of man, would furnish materials for an interesting volume;
but it belongs more properly to an ethical or philosophical discourse.
We will not complain of the author for not doing what he has not
attempted--for what he had no inward call or outward occasion; what he
could not have accomplished but at the sacrifice of much which
constitutes the charm and grace of the present work; while we cordially
thank him for this endeavor to speak a cheering word in behalf of the
joyousness of life, and to spread 'sunshine in the shady place.'



197. New York: Geo. P. Putnam.]


There is nothing which contributes so much to ease social intercourse as
the jest. In comparison with it, the proverb is only a humble
subordinate, and song itself, with all its power, but a weak influence.
Yet the song and the proverb boast a critical literature, while the
brief compendiums of merriment which never die, which, once written,
live through every age, and force their way through every penetrable
language, are undoubtedly less studied than any other popular medium of

What is a jest? It is as little worth the while to try to define its
nature, as it is to analyze wit. We all know that the world laughs, and
what it laughs at, and what the droll saws, anecdotes, rhymes, quips,
and facetiæ are, which give fame to a Bebel, or a Frischlin, a Tom
Brown, and a Joseph Miller. Leave labored analysis to the philosophers,
contenting ourselves with remarking that a jest is a laugh candied or
frozen in words, and thawed and relished in the reading or utterance.
And laughter? When a man is too lazy to think out an idea, and yet too
active to dreamily _feel_ it, he laughs. When he catches its leading
points, and yet realizes that behind them remains the incomprehensible
or incongruous, he settles it for the nonce with a smile. Hence it comes
that we laugh so seldom with all our heart, a second time over a jest.
It has been _comprehended_; the mystery, the sense of contradiction and
incongruity, has vanished--we may revive it in others, and laugh
electrically with them; but the first piquant gusto of _its_ spice is
gone forever.

Yet the jest, like the proverb, acquires a value by becoming current.
It often illustrates an opinion or an experience, and when it is much
worn, it may still gain a new point, by being brought into illustrative
relation with some event or idea. Esop's fables, or any fables, are,
after all, only good jokes in a narrative form, which owe their fame
simply to their boundless capacity for application. Sidney Smith's story
of Mrs. Partington, who tried to mop out the Atlantic, was a jest, and
so too was Lady Macbeth's 'cat i' the adage,' who wanted fish, yet would
not wet her paws, and let 'I dare not' wait upon 'I would.' _Something_
of our old enjoyment of a joke for the first time, always lingers around
it, and we gladly laugh again--for, 'old love never quite rusts out.'
And there are many jests, which, owing to their boundless variety of
application, always come before us in a new light. Such are those which
illustrate character. Woe to the man among the vulgar, who once becomes
the scape-goat of a story on the subject of a joke-anecdote which 'shows
him up.' Woe in truth, if it grow to a nickname--for then he, of all
persons, learns that there are jests which never lose their sting.

Some jests have been progressive--they have been re-made to suit the
times. Diogenes, when asked which wine he preferred, replied, 'That of
other people.' An Englishman answered to the same question, 'The O. P.
brand,' referring the initials not only to Other People, but also to the
far-famed Old Particular stamp which marked certain rare varieties--or,
as others explain it, to 'Old Port.' The Scholastikos of Hierocles,
having a house for sale, carried a brick around as a sample--a modern
story says that a commander when asked of what material his
fortifications were built, called up his troops, and said:
'There!--every man's a brick.' Here we have the 'living walls' of the
Romans--two old stories blended into one, and the whole greatly
strengthened by a modern slang expression. When thus changed to suit the
times, jests, instead of growing old, rather grow new again. Not
unfrequently, a single joke becomes, in this manner, the parent of
scores of others. I think that it is Mr. Wendell Phillips, who, in a
lecture on Lost Arts, declares that there were never yet more than
twenty-five original 'good stories,' and that all of those now current
may be traced back to them. In a certain sense, the assertion is true;
but it is a mistake to confound the result of a cause with the cause
itself, and an error to declare the descendant to be one and the same
with the ancestor. Max Muller has proved that hundreds of words of the
most different meanings descend from the same root, and, in like manner,
we might show, if the traditional links were supplied, that the last
'good one' current at Washington, originated at the court of King
Pharaoh. Let no one laugh, for Chaucer's Clerke of Oxforde's Tale was
for years told, with Daniel Webster and Henry Clay as the heroes, and we
have even met with a bold Southron who '_knew_ that it was true of

In this connection it is worth while to observe that even the slang
phrases of the day, which are popular, partly because they _save trouble
in thinking_, and partly because the vulgar mind, like the vulgar ear,
finds a relief or pleasure in monotony--are not unfrequently of ancient
origin. The current expression, 'a high old time,' occurs in a Latin
jest, given in an old German-Latin jest-book, which, as its preface
asserts, consists entirely of a reprint from still older works.
'Henricus,' it says, 'was begged to make at a wedding (_Hoch
zeit_--literally, 'high time') a wedding song, and complied with the

   'Iste vetus Juvenis Socius prius ad stationem arripit
   Atque _altum tempus_ habere cupit.'[4]

The expression is better in its old form, since _altum_ means both high
and old. Those who have laughed at the instance in 'Ferdinand Count
Fathom,' of the Dutchman, who boasted that his brother had written a
great book of poetry as thick as a cheese, may find its original
'motive' in an anecdote given in the same work.

     'A peasant going to a lawyer, begged him to undertake a case for
     him, to which the man of law assenting, began to refer to and read
     in a very small book. But the peasant, who saw many large folios in
     the study, touched the advocate on the arm and said:

     'Sir--please read some in a _great_ book also, for this is
     certainly a big case which I have brought to you.'

Everybody knows the story of the fortune hunter who commanded his
servant to duplicate in the affirmative, when he should be in
conversation, all his assertions. 'I have a fine farm,' said he. 'Faith,
ye mane ye have two on thim,' interpolated his Irishman; and so it went
on, until the master admitted that he had a cork leg. '_Two_ false ligs,
_an' ye know it_,' cried out the man. This is somewhat varied and
enlarged from the old story as given in the _Facetiæ_ of Bebel, in which
the nobleman, remarking to his lady-love that he was 'a little out of
sorts,'--'_dixit ille, se pallidulum parumque infirmum_,' was
interrupted by his servant with: 'And no wonder, since you suffer with
such a terrible and incurable quotidian disease!'[5]

If all stories and jests are to be traced to a few originals, perhaps
the many eccentric tales of Jack on horseback may be found in a very old
anecdote of a certain _Venetus insuetus ac nescius equitare_--a Venetian
unaccustomed to and ignorant of riding, who, when mounted on horseback,
having inadvertently spurred the animal, exclaimed, as it reared and

'Lord! the waves of the sea are nothing to those on land,'--thinking
that the leaping of his steed was caused by a sudden storm! The
anecdotes of absent-mindedness may find a prototype in a very old
monk-Latin anecdote of a certain doctor who went riding '_cum Palatino
Rheni_,' with the Prince Palatine, and who, on being told that he had no
breeches on, replied: '_Credebam, ô princeps, mihi famulum ea
induisse._' 'I thought, oh prince, that my valet had put them on!'
Domine Sampson and the magistrate who appeared un-breeched before
General Washington, are both anticipated in these absent small-clothes.

Many of the capital extravagances contained in 'Baron Munchausen' are
borrowed literally from the old Latin jest-books. The incident of the
wild pig which led about by its tail a blind wild boar, so that when the
former was slain the latter was taken home by simply giving it the tail
to hold, is of very respectable antiquity--as is also the story of the
horse cut in two--attributed by Bebel to a locksmith. The locksmiths, he
tells us in the parenthesis, are the boldest of Major Longbows.

There are many jests current in all languages, quizzing the vanity of
humble persons suddenly raised to some small dignity. 'Neebors, I am
still but a mon,' remarked the Scotchman, who became mayor.[6] Perhaps
their type is latent in the '_De rustica præfecti uxore_--the village
magistrate's wife,--which runs as follows:

     'When a certain man had been made a prefect of a small village, he
     bought his wife a new fur garment (_melotam_). She, proud of her
     finery and full of her new honor, entered church, _capite elato et
     superbo_, with her head raised, just as all the congregation rose
     to their feet, when the Gospel was to be read. When she, thinking
     it to be in her honor, and recollecting her former condition, said:
     Sit still! I have not forgotten that I was once poor!'

A very great proportion of the shrewd retorts and witty replies
attributed to great men are very old. 'What do you think of soldiers
who can endure such wounds?' remarked Napoleon, when, showing a
frightfully scarred grenadier to an Englishman. 'What does your majesty
think of the men who gave the wounds?' was the reply. It is essentially
the remark of Louis the Bavarian, who, on enlisting four soldiers famed
for incredible bravery, and observing that they were scarred from head
to foot, said to them: 'Ye are brave fellows; but I had rather see the
men _a quibus tot vulnera accepistis_--from whom ye received so many
wounds.' The number of witty retorts and droll stories associated with
the names of Talleyrand, Piron, Voltaire--in fact, to a certain degree,
of almost all great men--is so great as to almost persuade the reader
who wanders in the neglected field of ancient humor, that no man of the
later centuries was ever capable of a single witty and original thought.
It is not long since I met with an anecdote, stating that Alexandre
Dumas, who had a very unattractive wife, one day surprised a gentleman
in the act of tenderly embracing her. In a compassionate and astonished
tone the novelist exclaimed: 'Poor man! why do you act so? I am sure
that nobody could have compelled you to it against your will.' '_Eh!
monsieur, qui est-ce qui vous y obligeait?_' The jest is 'old as the
hills'--it was old before Dumas was born. So, too, with the amusing bit
of naïveté attributed to an English duchess, who, to express her
deeply-seated religious prejudices, declared that she would sooner have
a dozen Protestant husbands than one Catholic. The same point is
expressed as follows, in a very witty but extremely wicked collection of
facetiæ of the seventeenth century:[7]

   Displicet, insignis, mihi Clericus ordo puella
   Inquit et est valde gens odiosa mihi.
   Malo decem certè me consociare colonis,
   Unicum Clero quam coiisse velim.

Sir Isaac Newton, and I know not how many other philosophers, have been
made to learn by a current story how to bear coals--literally. A learned
man, it is said, being asked by a little girl for a live coal, offered
to bring her a fire shovel. 'It is not necessary,' replied the child,
and having laid cold ashes on her palm, she placed a glowing ember on
them and bore it away safely. 'With all my wisdom,' said the sage, 'I
should never have thought of that!' The jest is of mediæval
antiquity--possibly pre-Latin--it was in later days, however, versified
by Schurrias--an extremely aged and dying woman being substituted for
the learned man.

   'Nam nudâ poteris ignea ferre manu?
   Parva puella refert: mater, perizomate prunas
   Portabo flammæ ne nocuisse queant.
   Quid facies igitur, Anus inquit? Serviet hicce
   Mi cinis, illa refert; quo super hasce feram.
   Mox exclamat Anus: disco, moriorque profecto.
   En disco moriens quæ latuere senem:
         _O, ich lern und stirb_!'

A very great number of the 'good stories' current at the present day
with new names and faces, are to be found in the works of Rabelais, and
in the _Moyen Parvenir_, now generally attributed to him. It is almost
needless to say that few of these were however original with the great
French humorist. We find them in the Macaronics of Merlin Coccaius, and
in scores of older authorities. Still it must be borne in mind that a
similarity does not always establish an identity. There are few persons
who cannot cite some droll instance of a sharper or greedy fellow, who,
expecting an undeserved reward for some sham service, has found himself
drolly overreached. So Rabelais dresses up for us anew the fable of the
woodman, who, having lost his hatchet, and wearied Jupiter with prayers
for its recovery, was tempted by Mercury with a golden hatchet, and
asked if it were the missing article. He answering 'No,' received the
precious one for reward. Which being made known, excited great hopes
among his neighbors of becoming rich by the same means:

     'Ha, ha! said they--was there no more to do but to lose a hatchet
     to make us rich? Now for that; it is as easy as ----, and will
     cost us but little. Are then at this time of the year the
     revolutions of the heavens, the constellations of the firmament and
     aspects of the planets such that whosoever shall lose a hatchet,
     shall immediately grow rich? Ha, ha, ha! by Jove you shall even be
     lost and it please you, my dear hatchet! With this they all fairly
     lost their hatchets out of hand. The devil of a one that had a
     hatchet left; he was not his mother's son that did not lose his
     hatchet. No more was wood felled or cleared in that country,
     through want of hatchets. Nay, the Aesopian apologue even saith,
     that certain petty country gents of the lower class who had sold
     the Woodman their little mill and little field to have wherewithal
     to make a figure at the next muster, having been told that his
     treasure was come to him by this only means, sold the only badge of
     their gentility, their swords, to purchase hatchets to go lose
     them, as the silly clodpates did, in hopes to gain store of chink
     by that loss.

     'You would have truly sworn they had been a parcel of your petty
     spiritual usurers, Rome-bound, selling their all, and borrowing of
     others to buy store of mandates,--a penny-worth of a new-made pope.

     'Now they cried out and brayed, and prayed and bawled, and invoked
     Jupiter: 'My hatchet! my hatchet! Jupiter, my hatchet! on this
     side, my hatchet! on that side, my hatchet! ho, ho, ho, ho,
     Jupiter, my hatchet!' The air round about rung with the cries and
     howlings of these rascally losers of hatchets.

     'Mercury was nimble in bringing them hatchets; to each offering
     that which he had lost, as also another of gold, and a third of

     'Every _he_ was still for that of gold, giving thanks in abundance
     to the great giver Jupiter; but in the very nick of time, that they
     bowed and stooped to take it from the ground, whip, in a trice,
     Mercury chopped off their heads, as Jupiter had commanded; and of
     heads thus cut off the number was just equal to that of the lost

This is but a small portion of the fable as amplified by Rabelais; but
what is cited illustrates the _accretive_ power of a jest when it
involves a principle of general application. The same idea--that of
roguery rewarded according to the letter--is involved in an anecdote,
which tells us that a certain alchemist having dedicated to Pope Leo the
Tenth a book containing the whole art of making gold, received as
recompense a great empty purse, with the words: 'If thou canst make
gold, thou art far richer than I; but herein is a purse wherein thou
mayest put thy gold.'

In the German _Lallenbuch_, as well as other works, we find the story of
the stupid fellow who, coming to the banks of a river, waited long and
in vain until the water should all have rolled by. It is given in the
following form in a very droll collection of jests:[8]

     'Rustici cujusdam filius à patre in proximam urbem missus, quum ad
     flumen aliquod pervenisset, diu dum integrum deflueret, sicque
     transitum præberet, expectans, tandem ubi continuo aquam fluere
     vidit, domum reversus est, de eo quod sibi accidisset, parentibus

But the story was old, centuries before the monks--for even Horace sums
it up in two verses as one quotes a well-known popular proverb:

   'Rusticus exspectat dum defluat amnis: at ille
   Labitur et labetur in omne volubilis ævum.'

   'The clown awaits until the flood be gone:
   It glides and whirls for ages ever on.'

The reader has probably heard of the apocryphal twelfth commandment,
'Mind your own business.' Possibly its existence was suggested by the
discovery of the _first_, told as follows in the _Democritus Ridens_.

     'A certain soldier being asked by his pastor what was the first
     commandment given by GOD, replied, 'Thou shalt not eat!' At which
     answer the priest inquiring what he meant, received for reply that
     this was the first command to our first parents relative to the
     apple. _Quo audito, Pastor conticuit!_ Which having heard, the
     priest was silent.'

Of the same family or parentage is the modern story of the clergyman
who, wishing to preach against the extravagant head-dresses worn by the
women of his congregation, took for a text, 'Top knot come down!'
referring for his authority to Matthew xxiv. 17. In like manner a not
over-learned brother is said to have expounded Genesis, chap. xxii. v.
23, as follows: 'These eight Milcah bear.' This shows us, my brethren,
what hard times they had of old, when it took eight on 'em to milk a bar
(and I 'spose get mighty little at that), when nowadays my darter kin
milk a cow with nary help, as easy as look at her.'

Every one has heard of the Irishman crossing the brook. 'Sure, Paddy, if
ye carry me, don't I carry the barrel of whiskey, an' isn't that fair
and aiquil?' It is differently told in one of the old Latin jest books,
where a certain Piero, pitying his weary jackass, which bore a heavy
plough, took the latter on his own shoulders, and mounting the donkey,
said: '_Nune procedere poteris, non enim tu sed ego aratrum
fero_,'--'Now you may go along, for not you but I now bear the plough.'
Not a few of the jokes given to modern Irishmen originated centuries ago
in other countries than theirs. The reader may recall the advice given
by an Emeralder to another at a tavern, when the latter found that his
boiled egg was ready to hatch. 'Down wid it, Murphy, ye divil, before
the landlord comes in and charges ye for a _chicken breakfast_!' The
same occurs as an old Latin joke, with this difference, that, in the
latter, the companion, when the breakfast was over, required that the
chicken eater should pay the reckoning for both. '_Ni facis, dicam
cauponi de pullo quem pro ovo absumpsisti, et solves largius._' 'Unless
you do, I will tell the landlord of the chicken which you ate for an
egg, and _then_ see what a bill you'll have to pay.'

The Germans of the present day have a story of a certain Englishman who,
on being told that his coat was burning, politely replied: 'What the
devil business is that of yours? I have seen your coat burning this half
hour, and never bothered myself about it.' Tom Brown tells us of a
roguish boy who said to a traveller, warming his feet at a fire: 'Take
care, sir, or you'll burn your spurs!' 'My boots! you mean,' quoth the
traveller. 'No, sir, I mean your spurs; your boots be burned already.'
But the best form of the joke is given by Erasmus in his Adages, as

     'A certain traveller in Holland lay so near the fire that his cloak
     was scorched. Which being observed by a guest, he said to the
     sleeper, 'Here--I want to tell you something!' To which the other
     replied: 'If it is bad news, put it off, for I don't wish to hear
     any in company where all should be jolly. _Post convivium, inquit,
     seria_--'save up the sorrow until after supper.' And when they had
     merrily supped, 'Now,' said he, 'I am ready to hear it.' Then the
     other showed him and immense hole in his cloak, and he began to
     rage that he had not been warned of it in time. 'I wished to do
     so,' replied the guest meekly, 'but you forbade me.'

The witty sayings of men about to be executed are numerous, but are in
many cases far from being original or authentic. During the horrors of
the French Revolution, when men 'became so accustomed to death that they
lost all respect for it,' it became the fashion to make a jest with the
last breath, and it is said that a volume of these sayings was collected
and published. In the _Democritus Ridens_, already referred to, under
the head of _Jocus sub necem_, the author gives several anecdotes, more
than one of which has been attributed in modern times to some noted

     'Those condemned to death are not infrequently so excited and
     confused as to lose their wits and joke most improperly. As an
     example, take that man who, when standing on the scaffold, said
     with a smile to the judge who was present: 'I wonder, old fellow,
     that you with such a turned-up nose can see anything!'

     'Another when about to die asked for a parting cup. A goblet of
     beer was brought, from which he carefully blew away the froth,
     saying that it was 'unhealthy and conducive to the gravel.'

     'Another on the way to the gallows, seeing a crowd hastening
     forward, said to them: 'There is no need of hurrying, children;
     even though you go as slowly as I, for depend upon it, the thing
     will not come off till I get there.'

     'Another on quitting the prison, turning to his jailor, said
     privately: 'You needn't keep the house open beyond the usual time
     this evening on my account, for I shall not return.''

     'Another is said, when about to be shipwrecked, to have called for
     salt meat. And being asked why? replied: 'Because I shall soon have
     to drink more than I ever did in all my life.' _O ridiculos et o
     insanos homunculos!_ adds the old writer: 'O foolish and mad worms
     of men who could thus joke at the very opening instant of

This last instance of dying recklessness has been used by Rabelais as
one of the jests of Panurge. Much like it is the anecdote to the effect
that in a storm at sea, when the sailors were all at prayers, expecting
every moment to go to the bottom, a passenger appeared quite
unconcerned. The captain asked him how he could be so much at his ease
in this awful situation. 'Sir,' said the passenger, 'my life is

Somewhat allied to this spirit of blindness was the remark of the Greek
to his slave during a terrible storm at sea. Seeing the latter weeping,
he exclaimed, 'Why are you so troubled--I give you your freedom?' And
allied to it is the well-known epigram:

   'It blew a hard storm and in utmost confusion
   The sailors all hurried to get absolution;
   Which done, and the weight of the sins they confessed
   Was conveyed, as they thought, from themselves to the priest:
   To lighten the ship and conclude their devotion,
   They tossed the poor parson souse into the ocean.'

One of the coarse jokes current with the last generation was that of a
sailor who, when a duke with his lady was on board ship, and all
expected soon to be lost, asked the mate if he had ever lain with a
duchess? The other answering in fear and trembling, 'no,' was told by
the reckless fellow: 'Well, we shall all have that pleasure soon.' The
ship, however, was saved, and the sailor being asked by the duke what he
meant by his insulting remark, replied: 'At the bottom of the sea, your
grace, we all lie low in death together.' And he was pardoned. It is
remarkable that in all ages wit has been suffered to save men when
better qualities would perhaps be of no avail.

We may class with these jests of men _in articulo mortis_ the droll
story told by Bebelius, to the effect that a certain duke having caught
a miller in the act of stealing, asked his victim as he stood beneath
the gallows, to swear by his faith if he believed that there was on
earth a single man of his calling who was honest. To which the miller
stoutly swore that to his knowledge there was not one who was not a
greater thief than himself. 'If that be the case,' replied his judge,
'go in peace and live while you may, for I had rather be robbed by you
than by some more rapacious rascal of your trade.'

An excellent illustration of the fact that old stories are frequently
revamped to suit new times and men, may be found in the following
'original,' also given by Bebelius, as _Pulchrum factum cujusdam militis
Tubigentis_--a fine deed of a certain soldier of Tübingen:

     'Conrad Buhel of Tübingen, distinguished by his bravery among the
     captains of Cæsar Maximilian in the Hungarian campaign, was, once
     in camp, lying on the straw and expecting no evil, when there
     entered another soldier to whom Conrad had done an injury. Who,
     when he found him thus lying on his back, said with that noble
     magnanimity characteristic of the German mind: 'Wert thou not lying
     helpless, I would stab thee with my sword!' To which Conrad
     replied: 'Wilt thou do me no injury until I stand up and am ready
     for fight?' 'Not I,' replied his foe, 'for I hold it base to strike
     an unarmed man.' 'Then,' replied Conrad, 'I shall lie still all
     night.' But on the next day he transfixed the other with his

The same story is told of an eminent Irish lawyer, who had offended the
client of a rival pleader. 'Will ye get up till I bate yees?' 'An' would
ye strike a man lying down?' 'Divil a bit!' 'Then I'll jist go to slape
again.' In the modern stories the foes are reconciled--in the old camp
incident all is fierce and characteristic of the bloody feuds of the
middle ages, and the final murder of the great-hearted enemy strikes us
with a pang. The _sed postri die alterum cuspide transfixit_ seems
brutal and ungenerous; but the event, whether literally true or feigned,
had no such discord to the readers of those days. It was more essential
to establish the thorough bravery of Conrad, than to reward the
magnanimity of his foe. Truly, the history of jests is the history of

In relation to this transmission of the renown of stories of the olden
times to lawyers of the later day, we may cite the well-known incident
of the honest criminal who, travelling alone on foot, was met by Sir
Matthew Hale, and in answer to the questions of the latter, admitted
that he was going to a distant court to be tried for his life. The same
noble truthfulness is beautifully set forth in the following, _Pulchra
historia simplicis prætoris et furis_, or 'Fine Story of a
Simple-hearted Superintendent and Thief.'

     'My lord of Stoeffel, of that free and excellent nobility which
     are called barons, had a superintendent of his serfs. And he, when
     a certain man was accused of theft, and condemned by him to the
     torture of the cross (_ad crucis tormentum damnasset_), with rustic
     simplicity sent the criminal to the church that he might confess
     his sins, first taking his word that he would return after
     confession. So he entered the shrine, confessed, and not heeding
     the privilege of ecclesiastical immunity (i. e., the right of
     sanctuary), 'whereby he might have escaped, kept his faith with the
     superintendent (_fidem prætori servavit_), and again returning
     underwent extreme punishment. And this I knew from my boyhood, that
     he went up to the place of punishment with such alacrity, that it
     would seem as if he truly desired death. But many curses were
     lavished on the priest to whom he confessed, because he did not
     warn the imprudent man not to quit the bounds of ecclesiastical

There is a whole ballad--nay, a whole history of the middle ages in this
story; for among thousands I can recall none as perfectly characteristic
of the times. The absolute aristocratic control of the life of a white
slave; its abuse by transferring it to the arbitrary will of an upper
servant; the blind devotion to feudal service shown in the fidelity of
the poor serf, the horrible cruelty of his punishment; and finally, the
cowardly supple fawning of the local priesthood, who were always either
worms or dragons in their relations to the nobility, are all set forth
here in a few lines.

I have said that the eminent lawyers of modern times are greatly favored
in the inheritance of old jokes. Judge Jeffries, we are told, in
examining an old fellow with a long beard, told him he supposed he had a
conscience quite as long as that natural ornament of his visage. 'Does
your lordship measure consciences by beards?' said the man; 'that is
strange, seeing you yourself are shaven.' Among the monk-Latin tales
there is one to the effect that a certain _pater_, priding himself on
his beard, was informed that in a convent of he-goats he certainly
deserved to be abbot. The same story, re-made into a gross form, is
current in this country, and attributed to an eminent Virginia
politician. In the _Antidotum Melancholiæ_ (Frankfort, 1667), it is
given in the form of an evidently very old Latin rhyme:

   'Si bene barbatum faceret sua barba beatum,
   Nullus in hoc circo fuerit felicior hireo.'

There is a modern story current in America, which is often
circumstantially narrated, of some individual wearing a fine beard or
'whiskers,' and who is said to have sold them to a vulgar practical
joker, who had one shaved off, but suffered the other to remain for a
long time on the face of his victim, annoying him meantime with
inquiries as to 'my whisker.' It is the true type of a great number of
stories which originated in the Southern and South-Western United
States, the point of which almost invariably turns on vexing, grieving,
or maltreating some victim, who is an inferior as regards wit, fortune,
or physique. It is worth remarking that the only really original and
characteristic class of jokes which the slave States originated are
strongly marked with that cruelty and vulgarity which naturally attend
the morbidly vain and semi-civilized man, who is so unfortunate as to
have inferiors by fortune entirely in his power. I would ask the reader
in confirmation of this to simply turn over the large collection of
'Georgia Major' and 'Simon Suggs' tales, which, emanating from the
South, have contributed so much to brutalize and vulgarize the humorous
tendencies of that portion of the more Northern public which reads them.

But to return to the story of the half shaven beard. It also is a very
old one, being told in its original form as _Barba deceptus
Judæus_--'The Jew deceived by a beard,' and is as follows:

     'A nobleman of Frankfort, while being shaved in a barber's shop,
     was summoned by a Jew to whom he owed money. But at the request of
     his debtor the Jew consented to forego the arrest until the
     nobleman's beard should be shaved. Upon which the latter departed
     unshorn, and ever remained so.'

The old story--Jews, Cogots, serfs, negroes--the outwitting,
persecuting, and swindling some outlawed class of poor helpless victims,
who have been made worse than they should be by oppression. This
anecdote--like that of the free lance Conrad--is a sad epitome of the
middle ages, and to us of the present day, it rings like a curse on the
olden time, in the form of a diabolical jest. It is, however, bitterest
of all, to find the oppressed--as in the stories illustrating mere
_feudal_ fidelity,--so utterly degraded as to actually take part with
their oppressors and with the foes of humanity, against their own
rights. So, in this present struggle with that incarnation of evil, and
of the old devilish feudal oppression, the Confederate South, we are
still pained to find among its adherents men, who, having been socially
trampled on in Europe, seek, by sheer force of slavish habit, masters to
lord it over them here. There is but one type of man who is more
pitiable--it is he who is recreant to the great cause of freedom for the
sake of--money!

A brutal and disgraceful jest-story, which stands in close relation to
this last, is that of _Detrimentum barbæ propter Sanctos_;' or, 'losing
a beard for the saints,' which runs as follows:

     'A Hebrew contending with a Catholic, affirmed there were more
     Jewish saints in Heaven than Christian. It was thereupon agreed
     that each should name his saints in turn, and as he named, pluck a
     hair from the beard of his adversary.

     'Abraham,' said the Jew, and plucked a hair.

     'Saint Peter,' said the Christian.


     'Saint Paul.'

     And so they kept up their litanies, until the 'Christian,'
     exclaiming: 'Saint Ursula and the Eleven Thousand Virgins!' tore
     out the whole beard of the Jew by the roots, to the great laughter
     of all standing around.'

It would matter but little, that a fanatical and brutal crowd of the
middle ages had laughed at seeing 'only a Jew' disgraced and dripping
with blood, to point a scurvy jest. But, I confess that it struck me as
singular, when I once found this story in a memoir, set down as having
been narrated by an eminent Christian philosopher (now not long dead),
as a capital thing. Granting its humor, is it worth while to inquire if
he would have enjoyed it as much, had the Jew torn out the beard of the
Christian in the name of the thousands who had been martyred for the
faith of Israel?

The jokes of the middle ages on the subject of the beard, were
numerous--it was a favorite ornament, as we may judge from the fact that
Eberhard, the far-famed old warlike duke, sung in more than one poem by
Uhland, is always spoken of in the old stories, as _noster princeps
barbatus_, 'our bearded prince,' or, more familiarly, simply as 'our
bearded one.' One of the table problems of the day was, '_Potestnè
probari mulierem quandam habuisse barbam?_'--'Can it be proved that any
woman ever had a beard?' The answer to which, was, 'Yes--when Judith
bore the head of Holofernes.' It was singular that such a question could
have been agitated, when the legends of the saints contained the story
of the bearded saintess of the Tyrol--a converted ballet-dancer, who was
thus rendered hideous in accordance with her prayer, that she might be
made so repulsive as to frighten away all lovers. And yet Mr. Barnum's
Bearded Lady had a husband!

Jokes ridiculing red beards and heads were common in the old time;
probably because a popular tradition declared that Judas, 'the arch
rascal,' was so marked by nature. The anecdote of the good clergyman who
never laughed but once in church, and that was, when he saw a youth
trying to light a cigar, or warm his hands at a certain ruddy poll,
finds its prototype in one of the old Latin stories:

     'Our country people are wont to say, when they see a red-headed
     man; 'he would make a bad chimney-sweeper.' And when the reason is
     asked, they say: 'when his head came out of the chimney the country
     folks would think it was fire, and would ring the bells, assemble
     from every direction, and cause all the riot and trouble incident
     to a conflagration.'

It is worth noting in this connection, that the prejudice against red
hair is rapidly being forgotten among cultivated persons, and is far
from being what it was within the memory of man. The vulgar, who are the
last to abandon an absurdity, still retain a few jokes on the subject;
but these will probably be as unintelligible in time, as would be the
jests of the middle ages on the _rufa tunica_, or red frock. The
boorishness and cruelty of 'the good old times,' are strongly reflected
in the following, which a scholar of the fifteenth and sixteenth
centuries was not ashamed to record of himself:

     'When lately during Lent, in the year 1506, we had several guests,
     among them a rustic from Weilsberg, who wore a long red beard. I
     asked him why he did so? and he replied, 'out of grief for the
     death of his father-in-law.' To which I replied: 'All wrong, for
     red is a color suited to rejoicing'--at which remark all the guests
     present began to laugh immoderately. But he with his rustic
     simplicity, being made ashamed, answered: 'Yes, sir--that is very
     true, and yet I assure you that I feel as sorrowful in this red
     beard as any other man does in his black one.'

The man who does not--though three and a half centuries lie
between--sympathize with the sad, honest simplicity of the poor
red-bearded mourner, must be as gross and heartless as was the narrator
of the incident. It gives one, indeed, strange subject for reflection,
to pause among these old trifles of a by-gone day; jotted down for
passing time in a rude age, and yet preserved so clearly, cut and
freshly colored in the modern time! Conrad Bühel, the free lance, and
his enemy--the red-bearded mourner, the Baron von Stoeffel and his
prætor, with the simple minded thief, and timid priests, and the genial
but coarse scholar, Bebelius himself, were all real men in their day,
who might have passed away without the slightest link to bind their
names or natures to an after age--and now they live in a jest! Still
they live--and it may be that when the page which you now peruse, O
reader, shall be as old as the yellow leaves of the sixteenth century
volume now before me, some one may revive them again. It is something to
be near a scholar now and then, for no one knows who once crosses his
path, but that he too may be noted down, to be borne by an anecdote
across stormy centuries, into ages all unlike our own. No man ever yet
died out of a printed book.

Many a happy thought dashed off by a modern writer, is only the adroit
plagiarism of an old joke, 'But oh, the Latin!' says Heinrich Heine, in
describing his boyish sorrows to a lady--'Madame, you can really have no
idea of what a mess it is. The Romans would never have found time to
conquer the world, if they had been first obliged to learn Latin. Lucky
dogs! they already knew in their cradles the nouns ending in _im_.' This
is a very adroit theft from the _Epistolarum Obscurorum Virorum_,
attributed to Von Hütten and others, in which a stupid monk, having
argued with Erasmus, writes as follows to his master:

     'Then our host, who is a good scholar, began to talk of poetry, and
     greatly praised JULIUS CAESAR in his writings and deeds. Now when I
     heard this I was specially delighted that I had read so much, and
     that I had heard you lecture on poetry in Cologne, and I said:
     'Since you speak of poetry, I can no longer keep quiet, and I tell
     you plainly that I do not believe that CAESAR wrote those
     commentaries; and I strengthened my assertion with this argument:
     'He who has his business in war and in constant labors, cannot
     learn Latin. Now, CAESAR was always in wars or in great toils,
     therefore he could not be erudite, or learn Latin.' I think,
     however, that SUETONIUS wrote those Commentaries, for I never saw
     any writer whose style so much resembles that of CAESAR, as does
     that of SUETONIUS.'

Who has not heard the story of the hackney coachman, who, at the end of
the day, was wont to divide his gains into 'half for master and half for
me,' when the whole should have been given to the proprietor? Or of the
American public functionary, who said that his annual gains were 'one
thousand dollars salary, besides the cheatage and stealage?' Both seem
to me to be foreshadowed in the following '_Sacerdotis jocus non

     'A certain priest named FYSILINUS who begged for a convent of Saint
     Sebastian, being asked what his annual salary was, replied: 'Twenty
     gold crowns!' 'Little enough!' answered the other. To which
     FYSILINUS replied: 'Various, however, are the emoluments of
     mortals; for I have also what is given to me, and what I steal. And
     very good is Saint Sebastian, who, whatever division I make with
     him, is always silent and contented.'

It is worth noting that this story and thousands which bore much more
severely on the priests, were current for centuries before the
Reformation. There were many anecdotes of this priest, all to his
discredit, many of which were attributed, at a later day, to other
unworthy monks. Among these, a very dull one is interesting, as
connecting him with Eberhard, 'our bearded prince,' already referred to.
Having begged of this truly noble man a benefice, Eberhard, who was
aware of his character, replied: 'If I had a thousand vacant, you should
not have the least of them.'--'_Si mille, inquit, mihi beneficia, ego
minimum tibi non conferrem._' To which Fysilinus impudently replied:
'And if I should hold divine service a thousand times, I would never
bear you in mind, nor pray once for your salvation.'

I have attempted in the foregoing remarks to set forth, or rather
illustrate, the manner in which modern jests have flown directly or
indirectly, from those of earlier generations; and have, in so doing,
called attention to a rare and curious class of humorous books, which
have been but little cited for more than two centuries. The principal
point which I would most gladly make clear, is the fact that in
literature and the history of culture, there are two classes of critics:
the ultra-modern and the ultra-conservative, both of whom are in the
wrong. The one cries that every flash of genius is new, and that an old
jest is an old abomination--the other vows that there is nothing new
under the sun, and that every good story is hidden away, in all its
excellence, somewhere in the storehouse of the past. Examination is,
however, like Pietro D'Abano, always a _Conciliator_. We find the
original _thema_ in the past, often reduced to the careless illustration
of some principle or characteristic common to all humanity; but when we
follow it down to the present, it becomes varied, improved, and enlarged
into whole groups and families of new anecdotes, poems, jests, or
proverbs; any single member of which is, perhaps, better than the

The history of jests can, in turn, be made to furnish an extremely vivid
and curious history of the social conditions of men, and their changes
from the earliest ages--not to be surpassed in value by that of any
other peculiarities. In nothing is a man so much himself as in his


[Footnote 4: Erneuerte und vermehrte Lustige Gesellschaft (_Comes
facundus in via pro vehiculo_), von JOHANN PETRO DE MEMEL, Zippelzerbst
im Drömbling. Im Jahr, 1657.]

[Footnote 5: _Facetiarum_ HENRICI BEBELII, Poetæ. Tübingen, A.D., 1542.
Date of Preface, 1506.]

[Footnote 6: Peter Cunningham's last Book, p. 45.]

[Footnote 7: _Hortuli amoeni, viridis et elegantis floribus Historicis
et Poeticis_, &c. BALTHASARI SCHNURII. Rotenburg. 1637.]

[Footnote 8: _Democritus Ridens: sive Narrationum Ridicularum Centuria._
_Selecta_ JOHANNI PETRO LANGIO. _Ulmæ, anno 1667._]


     An historical research, respecting the Opinions of the Founders of
     the Republic on Negroes as Slaves, as Citizens, and as Soldiers.
     Read before the Massachusetts Historical Society, August 14, 1862.
     By GEORGE LIVERMORE. Boston: John Wilson & Son. 1862.

Within the past two years we have met with two pamphlets referring to
the negro question during the days of the Revolution--the one being a
reprint with comments of the celebrated Laurens letter,[9] the other
containing information as to the part taken by blacks in the
struggle.[10] We inferred from these works that much remained to be
told, and find our surmise verified by an examination of the neatly
printed octavo of 215 pages, now before us, in which is given a mass of
information, fully establishing the fact that the negro played no mean
part in the army of the Revolution, and, we may add, suggesting the
reflection that he may only need proper encouragement to do as much,
again, unless he should have strangely deteriorated from the original
stock of his ancestry. Such a work as this, thorough and full of plain
facts, telling their own story, was greatly needed, and we congratulate
all who are interested in the future of this country on its appearance.
Published under the auspices of the Massachusetts Historical Society,
and warmly approved by EDWARD EVERETT and the venerable JOSIAH QUINCY,
the work in question possesses, of course, the highest claim to
consideration as a well written and perfectly digested _resumé_ of its
subject. It is curious to observe, from its documentary proofs, how
fully the slave-holding arguments of the present day were once negatived
by the experience of the past; and it is almost bitterly amusing that
men can learn so little from experience, and that in one generation the
dense clouds of ignorance should gather so thickly over a subject of the
most vital importance to the country.

From this work we may learn that 'no language of radical reformers in
recent times surpasses in severity the honest utterances' of the first
men of the Revolution on the subject of slavery. It is worth knowing
what Franklin, Adams, Jefferson, Laurens, Pinckney, Randolph, Sherman,
and a host of others said--to realize that slavery was regarded by them
as a curse; and it is grievous to learn that 'circumstances,' local
feuds, and bewildering side-issues should have interfered to prevent
'abolition' at a time when it might have been safely carried out. The
vast amount of historical research on this subject, and its results, are
well set forth by Mr. Livermore; and had his work been limited to these
chapters alone, it should have won him a distinguished place among those
who have cast a light as of life upon the obscure difficulties which now
beset the great question. More encouraging and extremely interesting is
that second portion of the work which gives the opinions of the founders
of the republic respecting negroes as soldiers, and facts establishing
their military ability. That the first fight of the Revolution should
have been led by a negro, who was its first martyr, is of itself deeply
significant: so is the fact that the most remarkable incident at Bunker
Hill--the death of Pitcairn--was due to the bullet of a brave black
soldier. With the exception of the two Tory States, Georgia and South
Carolina, blacks, _slave_ blacks, were enlisted from all the States in
great numbers, and fought well. It is remarkable that in the beginning
the same absurd objections to employing them were raised as those which
still abound in our 'Democratic' press; and it was not, indeed, until
forced by stern experience and dire need, that 'the States' found out
the folly of their prejudice.

All of these data in the history of slavery, and with them several of
minor importance, are remarkably well set forth in the present volume,
which may fairly claim to be the first work on the subject ever
published--the 'Historical Notes' already referred to having been
suggested, as we are told, by Mr. Livermore himself, and forming an
_avant courier_ to the 'Historical Research.' It is needless to say that
we commend it with our whole heart to all who would study the question
of negro slavery from the beginning in this republic, and know, what few
do, the extent and importance of the early troubles on the subject, or
settle for themselves the greatly vexed question whether negroes, when
treated as men, will or will not fight. It is all there.

     LIKE AND UNLIKE. By A. S. ROE. New York: Carleton. Boston: A. K.

Mr. Roe's novels are of the manufactured kind. Like those of many others
who are in the business, they give the impression that they are easily
written, and might possibly be turned out by a machine, had invention
progressed a little farther than it has. Still his _piéces de
manufacture_ are very good of their kind, and sell very well--like the
moral romances in China, which are disposed of by weight and in
fragments, in such vast quantities, and which are so entirely a matter
of mere pastime that the authors never think it worth while to affix
their names to them. _Like and Unlike_ may be safely intrusted by the
most fastidious aunt to the most unsophisticated of nieces--and it is
not unlikely that the niece would greatly enjoy its perusal. It is by no
means devoid of interest, and indicates in many particulars that
familiarity with the press which preserves any work of its nature--so
far as style is concerned--from harsh judgment. There are better
books--but certainly there are thousands which are much worse.

     T. BROOKS. Boston: Ticknor & Fields. 1863.

To many men JEAN PAUL has always been the greatest of German writers,
however they might protest their preference for some other idol. CARLYLE
knows and names GOETHE as the intellectual culmination of the past
age--and yet shows in every sentence the influence of The Only One, with
very barren traces indeed of The Old Heathen; reminding us of those
devotees who profess a faith in GOD, but manifest it in the worship of
some congenial saint. At the present day, Richter, instead of being
overrated, is neglected. Already thirty years ago HAUFF bewailed that
his works were not taken from public libraries; and yet it is as true as
ever that he is, if not the greatest of German writers, at least the
most German among the great ones of his fatherland. And it is here that
the drawback lies--he carried to such excess all the peculiarities of
his very peculiar country, and was a giant of grotesqueness. No one can
really know German literature who knows not Jean Paul.

The work before us is Richter's masterpiece, which cost him ten years of
labor. We could sum up of his other writings some thousand or two of
pages which we read with more pleasure; yet still commend 'Titan' as the
best beginning and ending for those who intend to go through all of
Richter's writings. It is a romance _sui generis_--in the world, and yet
most unworldly--full of unusual characters set forth in more unusual
language--refreshing and delightful to the initiate, and most wearisome
to commonplace minds. As regards the merit of the translation, we can
only say that, having compared the first hundred pages with the
original, we find them admirably and accurately rendered, and presume,
of course, that the remainder is equally excellent. Will not Mr. Brooks
at some future time give us a translation of Richter's _Vorschule der
Æsthetik_, a work sadly needed by some of our art-critics?

     LINES LEFT OUT; or, Some of the Histories left out in 'Line upon
     Line.' New York: Harper & Brothers. 1863.

A juvenile work with an extremely awkward title; 'Line upon Line' having
been a collection of Bible stories, adapted to the capacity of children,
of which book the present volume is a continuation. While we credit the
author for the best intentions, we must, however, suggest that it would
have been better in every instance had the original text been given as
well as the paraphrase, unless, indeed, it be assumed that the Bible is
unfit for children to read, or above their comprehension.


[Footnote 9: A South Carolina Protest againt Slavery. New York: G.P.
Putnam. 1861.]

[Footnote 10: Historical Notes on the Employment of Negroes in the
American Army of the Revolution. By GEORGE H. MOORE. New York: Charles
T. Evans. _Vide_ also THE CONTINENTAL MONTHLY, May, p. 324, vol. i.]


Another month of these most eventful times has passed by with mingled
good and evil fortune, and we still find 'that great mystery, the
American Republic,' strong and in good hope, careering in headlong
speed, with accelerated motion, adown the great torrent of history. It
is natural enough--yet it is still most unreasonable--that there should
be so many who believe that every eddy and whirl should be its
death-struggle or its final dart into the deep calm sea of safety. With
every battle lost or won there are thousands who despair or
exult--forgetting that, come what may, the cause of human progress is
_never backward_, and that we might as soon hope to recall the middle
ages as build up into prosperity the 'patriarchal' old slave South.

Every rebel's slave is free. Free on paper, if you will--theoretically
free; but is _that_ nothing? How many years will slavery, or the
Southern system in its integrity, exist side by side with a rapidly
growing free country no longer recognizing the existence of 'the
institution?' How many months, in fact, _when_ we shall have and
hold--as we are absolutely determined to do--the whole west bank of the
Mississippi and the confederate ports; which, by the way, _should_ have
all been secured at the outset at _any cost_? Let us win or lose in the
field, we shall still, thanks to our fleet, hem them in. And will not
_that_, with mere waiting, prove a complete victory? Whatever financial
crises may be before the North, it will ever possess, in spite of the
most terrible sufferings, its enormous recuperative power, and its old
ability for hard work. But how is the exhausted, ruined South to arise,
save through Northern aid? Will its poor whites labor in factories? They
are expected to form a permanent standing army. The negroes? The day of
slavery is passing away rapidly. Let the South gain battles, if it
will--they are only defeats in disguise; and in the long run it will be
found that God willed this war to be long and bitter, that by it the
last stronghold of the wrongs of man might be the more thoroughly

       *       *       *       *       *


   Upon the waves that rise and die
     Along the banks of Severn's river,
   Amidst the blue of broken sky,
     I saw thy half-drawn image quiver
   In changing gleams of golden light,
   Now broadly spread, now vanished quite.

   Late Golden Rod! in thought I deem
     I still shall find thee swaying there,
   As if some naiad of the stream
     Gave to the wind her yellow hair,
   Or, leaning o'er the margin, sought
   The restless shape the waters wrought.

   Though swaying, yet in quietude,
     Thy beauty touched my very soul,
   Like the calm eye of womanhood,
     In stillness keeping all control.
   And lo! as under sudden spell,
   Thy presence shadowed all the dell.

   The valley took October's crown,
     I found thy glory still the same;
   The sumach flung his red leaves down,
     And lit his winter crest of flame;
   The early elm and maple gave
   Their burden to the patient wave.

   I sought thee in the later year,
     I sought, but found thee there no more;
   Only a rigid stalk and sere
     A withered head in silence bore,
   Or swung, responsive to the sigh
   Of the stray wind that passed it by.

   Now Severn's banks in snow are still,
     And Severn's stream is hushed and pale;
   The sun shines on the whitened hill,
     And glows like summer in the dale;
   And yet I come, and half in gloom
   And half in joy recall thy bloom.

       *       *       *       *       *

Reader--do you want


It is not necessary to refer to a cook book to know what an excellent
fish is the sheep's-head; you may find it in Noah Webster's large
dictionary, where it is described as "the Sargus Ovis of Mitchell;
esteemed delicious food"; or, you can find it in market.

Mr. Withers was married to a lovely young lady who once worked an entire
piano cover with worsted. They had commenced housekeeping but a few
months, when one morning the husband informed his wife that he should
invite a friend to dine with him that day.

Mrs. Withers was in despair at this announcement, but she smiled and hid
her grief; or at least her grief, in the shape of a Celtic cook, was at
that time not to be seen, being employed in the kitchen, where she had
invited two of her friends to "come in and ate."

Mr. Withers went down town; his wife then gave directions to the cook,
Biddy O'Shaughshenny by name, to buy a sheep's-head, beef, game, and so

'By the way, Bridget, have you ever cooked a sheep's-head before?'

'A shape's hid is it? Then I'm thinking, ma'am, I've cooked the likes of
them minny a time and oft in the owld counthry when I bided with Mister
Maginnis the grate counsillor in Dublin. I did.'

This was sufficient: Mrs. Withers was relieved of all care, and soon
wended her way out shopping and making calls, until nearly the dinner
hour. Home came Mr. Withers and friend, an Englishman by the name of
Molesworth, with keen appetites. The dinner was served; oysters and soup
finished, the waiter brought on a large dish covered.

'Ha, what have we here?' asked Withers, the husband.

'Something new, my dear,' answered Withers, the wife. 'I knew they were
in season, and I ordered it for a surprise.'

Withers lifted the cover!

There WAS a sheep's head--with horns on.

However a Sheep's Head is like a turbot--for a turbot--according to
Albert Smith's account of the Frenchman learning English--is not unlike
a _tire-botte_ (or a boot-jack) which _has_ horns. Is'nt _that_ a
frantic conciliation of differences, and one which might have done honor
to Petrus d'Abano, the Conciliator, himself?

       *       *       *       *       *

There are many conscientious men whose consciences tear at the first
pull--as is shown 'in the subsequent:'


DEAR CONTINENTAL: Perhaps the following incident will cause a smile to
ripple the good-natured features of some of your readers:--In the county
of M----, the Draft Commissioner held an extra appeal for the
'conscientious men.' Now, in said county, there dwelt one Barney Mullen,
who, not being exempted at the first appeal, on 'non-citizenship'
grounds, was in 'great tribulation' in regard to the approaching draft.
Some wag persuaded him to attend the second 'hearing,' telling him to
swear that he was conscientious, and he would get his exemption papers.
So Barney was at hand at the 'appointed time and place,' At last, 'it
came to pass' that he got a hearing, and the Commissioner asked him what
he had to say for himself.

'Shure, it's consyintious I am, an' exempted I want to be.'

The Commissioner had not forgotten Barney, so, to humor his whim, asked
him if he would take the affidavit, having first read that paper to him.

'Afther David, the divil! It's me exemption papers I'm afther,' he

'Have you conscientious scruples against fighting?' asked the

'Och, it's the schrupils an' dhrams both I have. I get 'em bad, too, yer

'Well, Barney,' said 'his honor'--putting the same question to him that
he asked all others who offered the conscientious plea (and who always
gave an affirmative answer)--'if your wife was being murdered, would you
stand by a silent spectator?'

'Divil a silent spectator! D'yees take me fer a haythen? Be the howly!
show me the scallywag that would harrum a hair o' the ole 'oman's hid,
an' I'd give him sich a pelt on the gob, that he would think he'd got
forninst a horse's hoof!'

'Then we can't exempt you, Mr. Mullen.'

'Mither ov Moses!' exclaimed Barney, as he left the room, 'not exempt a
man because he wouldn't shtand by an' see the 'ole 'oman murdered!'

       *       *       *       *       *

We are indebted to a friend--who is requested to call again--for the
following from

                                                PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 1862.


Did you ever study the language of signs?

I have--and a queer language it is. It is divided into two great

The first is of street signs.

The second of signs manual, optical, and otherwise by gesture

An excellent illustration of this latter class was witnessed lately in a
police court of this city. I give it as narrated to me by a friend.

A deaf mute, whose banged and battered face spoke for itself, lately
appeared before a local magistrate to complain of the sufferings
inflicted upon him by certain iniquitarians to ye court unknown.

'He's deaf and dumb as a nadder, your honor,' remarked the solemn
policeman who introduced the silent man. 'But he kin tell his story

And he did.

Striking an attitude the dumb one pointed to his bruises, and then
struck out one, two and three _à la_ Heenan, to signify that his sorrows
had been caused by a pugilistic attack.

The court nodded its perfect comprehension of the business thus far.

Raising the two fingers of his left hand, the mute bowed them up and
down, so that they seemed to be human beings with solidified legs,
making salaams to the court.

The court nodded.

Then the two fingers precipitated themselves fiercely against the
forefinger of the right hand, which at once fell down, and was danced
upon and bumped in a variety of ways by the inhuman digits of the
sinister party.

The court nodded. It understood that the dumb man had been attacked by
two persons.

But who were the two?

Elevating the forefinger of the left hand, the plaintiff first pointed
to its face--or the place most suggestive of one, and then pressed his
own nose flat.

The court nodded. One of the assaulters had been flat-nosed.

'A nigger, your honor!' exclaimed the constable in breathless

Raising the second finger the dumb man after a second crossed his two
forefingers, and made upon his breast the sign of the cross. It was
catholically done.

The court nodded.

'An Irishman, your honor!' exclaimed the constable, who like the
complainant argued very promptly from religion to nationality. An
Irishman and a nigger--and I'll find out in ten minutes all about it.'

And he did--a warrant was issued, and the guilty men punished.

"Thus he by gestes made knowne hys sufferance."

                          Yours devoted,

       *       *       *       *       *


   The drums are beat, the trumpets blow,
   The black-mouthed cannon bay the foe,
   Dark bristling o'er each murky height,
   And all the field is whirled in fight.

   The long life in the drowsy tent
   Fades from me like a vision spent;--
   I stand upon the battle's marge,
   And watch the smoking squadron's charge.

   Behold one starry banner reel
   With that wild shock of steel on steel;
   And ringing up by rock and tree
   At last the cry that summons me.

   I hear it in my vibrant soul,
   Deep thundering back its counter roll;
   And all life's ore seems newly wrought
   In the white furnace of my thought.

   No dream that made my days divine
   But flashes back some mystic sign;
   And every shape that erst was bright
   Sweeps by me garmented in light.

   High legends of immortal praise,
   Brows of world heroes bound with bays,
   The crownéd majesties of Time
   Rise visioned on my soul sublime.

   Dear living lips of love and prayer
   Come chanting through the blackened air;
   And eyes look out of marble tombs,
   And hands are waved from churchyard glooms.

   "Charge! charge!" at last the captain's cry!
   We pant, we speed, we leap, we fly;
   I feel my lifting feet aspire,
   As I were born of wind and fire!

   On! on! where wild the battle swims,
   On! on! no shade my vision dims;
   Transcendent o'er yon smoky wreath,
   I see the glory of great Death!

   Come flashing blade, and hissing ball!
   I give my blood, my breath, my all,
   So that on yonder rocking height
   The stars and stripes may wave to-night!

       *       *       *       *       *

Our Art writer is awakened. Listen to him.

DEAR CONTINENTAL: You were kind enough to inform me that you would be
much obliged if I would let you know if there was anything stirring in
the world of Art.

The last thing which stirred in my world--I mean in my workshop in the
Studio Building--was a German of the carpenter persuasion. At least he
had a side pocket, and folding two-feet rule, with a shaving on his left

'Bees you a poor-trait bainter?' he inquired.

'Truly I am!' I replied.

'I wants you to baint de likeness to my fader.'

'With pleasure. Bring him here.'

'Yas--see now, dat is not bossiple. He lies geburied in the purying
crount in Stuttgart in Shermany.'

'Well, have you a photograph of him?'

'_Nichtss_ photograb.'

'Or a bust?'

_Nichts_ pust.'

'Or a drawing?'

'_Nichts_ trawing.'

'Or an engraving?'

'_Nichts_ craving.'

'Well, then--what have you got?'

'I got _dis_ dings.'

Saying this, he brought forth a small book, greatly worn, which he
slowly opened, and unfolded from it a broad leaf, adorned with German
emblems, and cragged pot-hook inscriptions which looked like lager-bier

'What is that?'

'Dis is mein fader's passport. Look ant readt! Plue eyes, proun hair,
round _kinn_, pig mouf--und all dat, so fort. He hafe a goot deal of
exbression like mine.'

(Where this latter could have been I could not imagine.)

'Yas--und he wear a plue gote.'

'Oh--a _goatee_, I suppose, on his chin?'

'No. It was a plue gote on his pack. He hafe a peard like mein, und look
like mein. Put mein fader was a more older man dan me.'

'Ah, indeed!'

'Yas. Baint him mit a piple on a taple, und mit a girl on his hands.'


'Yas--mine leetle daughter. I prings her here to be colored.'

It was a bold thing to do; but on this small capital I went to work, and
succeeded. At least, Jacobus Kirchelheimer said so--and _he_ ought to
know, for he was a first-rate fellow, and sent me over and above the
price agreed upon, a dozen bottles of Rudesheimer. A suspicion seemed
indeed to haunt his mind that the portrait resembled himself much more
than it did the late Herr Kirchelheimer, _pére_,--but he speedily found
comfort in the following reflection:

'Ven I kits to be more older it will do shoost as goot for mine bicture
as for de old one.'

It wasn't very self-flattering--that of hoping to resemble the Old One;
but I said nothing. And no more at present from

                          Yours truly,
                               POPPY OYLE.

       *       *       *       *       *

JAMES BUCHANAN--not satisfied with hoping for the parings of a
nomination to the Senate after having eaten the Presidential apple, has
pushed his impudence so far as to attempt to vindicate FLOYD from the
charge of stealing, although the theft was by FLOYD self-confessed and
gloried in. This is proving more than the record. What will FLOYD say

   The Raven said: 'Of birds I know,
   The very whitest is the Crow.'

   The Crow declared: 'While birds endure,
   The Raven will be whitest, sure!'

   The Raven said: 'I do believe
   The Crow knows not what 'tis to thieve.'

   The Crow inquired: 'Who ever heard
   The Raven was a stealing bird?

   'He calls himself a thief, I know,
   But I can prove it is not so.'

   The Raven swore by wet and dry,
   The Crow was never known to lie.

   The Crow swore out by hot and cold,
   The Raven's word was good as gold.

   The Crow flew o'er an old oak tree;
   'Caw me,' he croaked, '_and I'll caw thee_.'

It is an old story, and one which will last while rogues endure--be they
broken-down politicians, craving, like Buchanan, a little more paltry
notoriety, or any other variety of the great family of the Dishonest.
And they will go their way adown the road of time and into history,
properly brandmarked. The truth ever comes to light.

'And that isn't all--either.' For even as we write, the following is
handed us by a friend:

   Take, oh, take his pen away,
     That so feebly runs on paper;
   Keep him quiet, or he'll play
     Other trait'rous prank and caper.
   Why apologize for treason,
   Or for stealing give a reason?

   Hide, oh, hide his pens and ink;
     Try to keep him silent: do!
   Would you let him lower sink,
     He'd defend the Devil too.
   Keep him silent, let him be:
   He has _not_ escaped Scott-free.

Not he--nor the opinion of the whole world, either. There--let him
go--_his_ place in the future is at any rate decided on. And yet the
vindicator of Floyd intends, we are told, to vindicate himself!

       *       *       *       *       *

A late 'horrible and agonizing execution' of two murderers in cultivated
and Christian England was witnessed by one hundred thousand
people!--according to the London _Times_. In the first-class English
journals a large space is always devoted to police reports, in which the
vilest and most vulgar criminal cases are always given in full detail,
to gratify the almost universal British craving for filth and cruelty. A
drunken vagabond cannot maim his wife but all England must know all
about it. Let it be borne in mind that while English writers are never
weary of speaking of the blackguardism of the American press, nine
tenths of our journals abandoned many years ago the abominable practice
of regularly publishing police cases; and that, making every allowance,
English newspapers at present publish on an average ten times as much
demoralizing matter as the American.

       *       *       *       *       *

We clip the following from the Boston _Post_:

     'Speaking of the heathen names reminds the London Athenæum of what
     M. Salverte says with respect to that fairest of the heroines in
     that poem for all spring time, "Lalla Rookh." Everybody, in his
     happy turn, has been in love with that lady of the peerless
     enchantments: perhaps they will be taken a little aback when they
     hear that before the lord of the East gave her the name of
     Nourmahal, 'Light of the Harem,' or, in the later excess of his
     love, Nourdjihan, 'Light of the World,' she was known to her family
     and friends as Mher-ul-Nica, or, in equivalent Saxon, the
     'Strapping Wench;' and that this 'tallest of women,' of whom it is
     said her lover, Djihanguyr,

   ----preferred in his heart the least ringlet that curl'd
   Down her exquisite neck, to the throne of the world,

     only became the light of his harem by the process of cutting the
     throat of her first husband. If this annotation, to be made in all
     copies of the poem, do not wring all charm out of the names by
     which the poet's lady is known to fame, then fiction again will
     prove stronger than fact.'

'And _that_ isn't all, either.' For _Noor-Mahal_, albeit conventionally
used as Light of the Harem, _does_ mean Light of the Workshop in Arabic.
We shouldn't in the least wonder if the lady in question, in her earlier
and better-behaved days, had been chief engineer of a sewing machine at
two shillings a day. However, we set that down to her credit side.

       *       *       *       *       *

READER--you have travelled? If so, did you ever suffer from too much

The last time we were at Mackinaw, we had our boots blackened, our
clothes 'swept,' and our cigars diminished by a very funny halfbreed
named Pierre, and noticed that when more cigars than usual were taken,
we were always sure of receiving an extra amount of attention from him
in the way of sweeping, brushing, and small talk.

'Mossu, how you lak Detroit?'

'I like it very well.'

'Zat fust-rate 'otel, ze Fiddle House; ze landlord he maks var' big fuss
over ze grand persons as come zére--var' big fuss. Mamselle GRANDROSE
she var splendid danseuse, she 'ave ze grande attentions: Madame COLSON
she grande _chanteuse_ 'ave ze grand care. Ah, bote zére comes zére
oncet ze MARQUIS DE CHOUXFLEURS, zen you should see zat landlord; he
bows and he smiles, and he rons round all ze time, viz, 'Musshoe ze
Markiss, vat you lak for to eat, for to drink, for to sleeps? can I do
somesings fore you. At lass ze Marquis he call for his bill, and he goes
for to leave ze hotel. Zen ze landlord he comes to ze door, and he bows,
and he smiles, and he robs his hands togezzer, and says he:

'Musshoe ze Markiss, _bone voyyaidge_;' (you see he spiks ze French var'
bad;) 'I hope you have been satisfy wiz my ho-tel?'

Zen ze Marquis smiles var' moch pleasaunt, and viz ze air off grand
seigneur he lokes down on ze landlord and spiks slowlee:

'Ze eat is var' good, ze sleep is not so var' bad, bote I 'ave notice
one sing--zére is entairely TOO MOCHE LANDLORD!'

In American hotels, as strangers declare, unless one be acquainted, the
complaint is apt to be of too _little_ landlord. Then--oh, _then_, 'all
goes as it does with a divinity in France,' as the European proverb hath
it--that is to say, very Paradisiacally indeed. Which reminds us of a
letter on the coming of the Millennium, from a friend who declares it to
be his conviction that those who are afraid of the immediate realization
of this consummation devoutly to be wished for, may lay aside their
apprehensions, since it is evident that nothing of the kind is to come
off _this_ year at least.

'Of which, dear CONTINENTAL friend, there can be no doubt, albeit there
may be somewhat pity. For I have lang syne awaited a millennium and a
golden age, and, when FERNANDO WOOD was kicked out of the mayoralty into
Coventry, hailed it as the beginning. Now, however, the old serpent
lifts his head--Fernando has gone to Congress, and the devil is let
loose again for a little season--to give seasoning by his sin to the
great sea of gruel of excessive virtue with which the world is
inundated. Oh for the wings of a dove, to be 'out of this'--cut loose
from all such 'carryin's on,' and fairly calm in some silent Lubberland
or Atlantis fairy realm of peace!

   'Where, with glasses ever clinking,
   The gentles, ever drinking
   To their lady loves in winking,
     Cry aloud _in jubilo_;
   And the jolly plump old president
   Calls out to every resident,
   And, when they answer, says he meant
     To pledge _in gaudio_:

   'Where the bells all day are ringing,
   Where the world is ever singing,
   And the roasted ducks fly winging
     Their way into your mouth:
   Where doors are never banging,
   Where tongues are never clanging,
   Where the peach and grape while hanging
     Turn _all_ sides toward the south:

   'Where you find no foolish fussing,
   Where you hear no oaths or cussing,
   Where the babies need no nussing,
    But in smiles or sleep are found:
   Where they all own herds and flockses,
   Where we get in no 'bad boxes,'
   And where all the paradoxes
     Are made straight, or else come round.

   'O land so sweet and sunny!
   O land of milk and money!
   O land of peach and honey!
     O land withouten peer!
   O land of good society!
   O land of great variety!
   And genial sobriety,
     Oh, would that thou wert here!

   'Or that I were 'over yonder!'
   Free to rest and free to ponder,
   Free to print, and free to wander
    'Mid the maidens short and tall!
   On 'the other side of Jordan,'
   Where all is tuned accordin'
     'To your leastest wish, my lord,' in
   Every matter, great and small!

'Knowest thou, O Editor LELAND, of aught such, _where the board is
cheap_? Answer, I pray ye, forthwith. _Sono stancato._'

Not we. When we hear of it, O friend, we will take passage for two--by
the first boat.

       *       *       *       *       *

A FRIEND communicates to us the following:

'PLATO, I think, PYTHAGORAS, I guess, and FO-HI, as I suppose--to judge
from his eight KUA--believed that all knowledge was capable of
mathematical representation.

'I don't know Miss Brown,' quoth a lady lately, in my hearing, 'she
isn't in my Circle.'

'And I don't know her,' added Miss Black, 'for she doesn't live in my
Square--and I never visit out of it.'

Dr. HOLMES has, however, declared that a person may be known by
Triangulating the descent from the grandfather down.

From all of which I should judge that to mathematically set forth the
knowledge of any person, it would be necessary to draw that slightly
paradoxical figure popularly described as a triangular square with round


       *       *       *       *       *

Yes--we think we see it. Square--corner--tri--Here, Thomas--carry it off
and have it set up. It's all right, we suppose. Somebody will find it
out, at any rate. Let us continue by singing the following genial
'Soldier's Song,' which hath the good ring of the good old time, and
which has just come to hand:

       *       *       *       *       *


   The wide world is the soldier's home,
     His comrades are his kin;
   His palace-roof the welkin dome,
     The drum his mandolin.
         He gives to air
         All thought of care,
     And trolls his serenade
         To fiery Mars,
         The king of stars,
     That never love betrayed.

   The banner is the soldier's bride,
     The love of bold and brave;
   His wedding feast, the battle tide;
     His marriage bed, the grave.
         Where bullets sing,
         Death's leaden wing,
     Light as a dancing feather,
         When hero falls,
         To glory's halls,
     Wafts life and love together.

       *       *       *       *       *

A teacher of the truly 'genial' stamp--that is to say one who takes
delight, in exercising his or her genius, and in awakening that of the
pupil is, we fear, a rarity; as much even in Art, as in any other branch
of education. We believe, however, that we may claim as an exception
Mrs. ELIZA GREATORIX of this city, whom we believe to be honestly and
earnestly interested in her calling as an instructor in drawing, and one
who endeavors to make Art 'a living language by educating the eye
through the intelligence.' The method which she pursues is that of
drawing from objects, beginning with Harding's series of blocks, and
thereby accustoming both eye and hand to greater accuracy than can be
acquired from copying the usual plane surface pictures, which in most
cases makes of the pupil a mere facsimilist. Mrs. GREATORIX may be found
at Studio 12, No. 204, Fifth Avenue.

       *       *       *       *       *


   There ne'er was harm in anything,
   But it came by misgoverning:
   For one word of evil guiding
   May lose a kingdom or a king!
   A sound truth this which all can feel
   From the romance of Sir Greye Stele.
   Ye rulers all who bear the bell,
   Weigh it, I pray you, wisely, well.

       *       *       *       *       *

In this world nothing is constant save inconstancy. Nature changes all
things, night and morn, and when she puts on again her former semblance,
still it is only a semblance, and never the very same. Young
ladies--when your lovers vow to be true forever to love--you may believe
them; but whether they will be eternally true to you, admits of
reflection. Such at least seems to have been the life-philosophy of him
who penned the following poem:


   Oh water that ever art roving!
     O fountain that never canst move!
   Oh fancy--some new flame still loving!
     O heart, ever constant to love!

   The waterfall rustled and glistened,
     Till it seemed like a musical flame,
   And I lay and I looked and I listened
     Till the nymph of the waterfall came.

   It was no Undine or Lurley
     (Though I thought her as beautiful still)
   That came in the evening early--
     But a bare-footed maid from the mill.

   The pitcher too frequently laden
     Must break and be lost at the worst,
   But the young heart, when full of a maiden,
     Of the twain will be broken the first.

   But the pitcher, when cracked by a tumble,
     Must be laid, till repaired, on the shelf,
   While the heart, although shattered and humble,
     Will be mended in time by itself.

   And we vowed that we loved--but with laughter,
     And we kissed with our feet in the brook;
   She left me--my whistle rung after,
     To win from the maid a last look.

   And months have flown by since I missed her,
     For afar with another she's flown;
   And now I wait here for her sister,
     To vow that I've loved her alone.

   Oh water that ever art roaming!
     Oh fountain that never canst move!
   Oh fancy--some new flame still loving!
     Oh heart ever constant to--love!

Sing it, reader, 'if thou canst sing.' A lady friend assures us that it
goeth well unto voice and pianoforte.

       *       *       *       *       *


   'Twas I that kept a shoddy mill
     In starving Lancashire;
   And shaved the Yankees shamefully
     For many and many a year.

   The mill is stopped, I'm raving mad,
     As from the _Times_ you hear;
   Oh it's my delight to bark and bite
     At all times of the year.

       *       *       *       *       *

  Continental Monthly.

The readers of the CONTINENTAL are aware of the important
position it has assumed, of the influence which it exerts, and of the
brilliant array of political and literary talent of the highest order
which supports it. No publication of the kind has, in this country, so
successfully combined the energy and freedom of the daily newspaper with
the higher literary tone of the first-class monthly; and it is very
certain that no magazine has given wider range to its contributors, or
preserved itself so completely from the narrow influences of party or of
faction. In times like the present, such a journal is either a power in
the land or it is nothing. That the CONTINENTAL is not the
latter is abundantly evidenced _by what it has done_--by the reflection
of its counsels in many important public events, and in the character
and power of those who are its staunchest supporters.

Though but little more than a year has elapsed since the
CONTINENTAL was first established, it has during that time
acquired a strength and a political significance elevating it to a
position far above that previously occupied by any publication of the
kind in America. In proof of which assertion we call attention to the
following facts:

1. Of its POLITICAL articles republished in pamphlet form, a
single one has had, thus far, a circulation of _one hundred and six
thousand_ copies.

2. From its LITERARY department, a single serial novel, "Among
the Pines," has, within a very few months, sold nearly _thirty-five
thousand_ copies. Two other series of its literary articles have also
been republished in book form, while the first portion of a third is
already in press.

No more conclusive facts need be alleged to prove the excellence of the
contributions to the CONTINENTAL, or their _extraordinary
popularity;_ and its conductors are determined that it shall not fall
behind. Preserving all "the boldness, vigor, and ability" which a
thousand journals have attributed to it, it will greatly enlarge its
circle of action, and discuss, fearlessly and frankly, every principle
involved in the great questions of the day. The first minds of the
country, embracing the men most familiar with its diplomacy and most
distinguished for ability, are among its contributors; and it is no mere
"flattering promise of a prospectus" to say that this "magazine for the
times" will employ the first intellect in America, under auspices which
no publication ever enjoyed before in this country.

While the CONTINENTAL will express decided opinions on the
great questions of the day, it will not be a mere political journal:
much the larger portion of its columns will be enlivened, as heretofore,
by tales, poetry, and humor. In a word, the CONTINENTAL will be
found, under its new staff of Editors, occupying a position and
presenting attractions never before found in a magazine.


  Two copies for one year,                    Five dollars.
  Three copies for one year,                   Six dollars.
  Six copies for one year,                  Eleven dollars.
  Eleven copies for one year,                Twenty dollars.
  Twenty copies for one year,            Thirty-six dollars.

                           PAID IN ADVANCE

_Postage, Thirty-six cents a year_, to be paid BY THE


Three dollars a year, IN ADVANCE. _Postage paid by the

  JOHN F. TROW, 50 Greene St., N. Y.,

[Illustration: pointing finger] As an Inducement to new subscribers, the
Publisher offers the following liberal premiums:

[Illustration: pointing finger] Any person remitting $3, in advance,
will receive the magazine from July, 1862, to January, 1864, thus
securing the whole of Mr. KIMBALL'S and Mr. KIRKE'S new serials, which
are alone worth the price of subscription. Or, if preferred, a
subscriber can take the magazine for 1863 and a copy of "Among the
Pines," or of "Undercurrents of Wall Street," by R. B. KIMBALL, bound in
cloth, or of "Sunshine in Thought," by CHARLES GODFREY LELAND (retail
price, $1. 25.) The book to be sent postage paid.

[Illustration: pointing finger] Any person remitting $4.50, will receive
the magazine from its commencement, January, 1862, to January, 1864,
thus securing Mr. KIMBALL'S "Was He Successful? "and Mr. KIRKE'S "Among
the Pines," and "Merchant's Story," and nearly 3,000 octavo pages of the
best literature in the world. Premium subscribers to pay their own

       *       *       *       *       *




At FROM $8 to $12 PER ACRE,

Near Markets, Schools, Railroads, Churches, and all the blessings of

1,200,000 Acres, in Farms of 40, 80, 120, 160 Acres and upwards, in
ILLINOIS, the Garden State of America.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Illinois Central Railroad Company offer, ON LONG CREDIT, the
beautiful and fertile PRAIRIE LANDS lying along the whole line of their
Railroad. 700 MILES IN LENGTH, upon the most Favorable Terms for
enabling Farmers, Manufacturers, Mechanics and Workingmen to make for
themselves and their families a competency, and a HOME they can call
THEIR OWN, as will appear from the following statements:


Is about equal in extent to England, with a population of 1,722,666, and
a soil capable of supporting 20,000,000. No State in the Valley of the
Mississippi offers so great an inducement to the settler as the State of
Illinois. There is no part of the world where all the conditions of
climate and soil so admirably combine to produce those two great
staples, CORN and WHEAT.


Nowhere can the Industrious farmer secure such immediate results from
his labor as on these deep, rich, loamy soils, cultivated with so much
ease. The climate from the extreme southern part of the State to the
Terre Haute, Alton and St. Louis Railroad, a distance of nearly 200
miles, is well adapted to Winter.


Peaches, Pears, Tomatoes, and every variety of fruit and vegetables is
grown in great abundance, from which Chicago and other Northern markets
are furnished from four to six weeks earlier than their immediate
vicinity. Between the Terre Haute, Alton & St. Louis Railway and the
Kankakee and Illinois Rivers, (a distance of 115 miles on the Branch,
and 136 miles on the Main Trunk,) lies the great Corn and Stock raising
portion of the State.


of Corn is from 60 to 80 bushels per acre. Cattle, Horses, Mules, Sheep
and Hogs are raised here at a small cost, and yield large profits. It is
believed that no section of country presents greater inducements for
Dairy Farming than the Prairies of Illinois, a branch of farming to
which but little attention has been paid, and which must yield sure
profitable results. Between the Kankakee and Illinois Rivers, and
Chicago and Dunleith, (a distance of 56 miles on the Branch and 147
miles by the Main Trunk,) Timothy Hay, Spring Wheat, Corn, &c., are
produced in great abundance.


The Agricultural products of Illinois are greater than those of any
other State. The Wheat crop of 1861 was estimated at 35,000,000 bushels,
while the Corn crop yields not less than 140,000,000 bushels besides the
crop of Oats, Barley, Rye, Buckwheat, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes,
Pumpkins, Squashes, Flax, Hemp, Peas, Clover, Cabbage, Beets, Tobacco,
Sorgheim, Grapes, Peaches, Apples, &c., which go to swell the vast
aggregate of production in this fertile region. Over Four Million tons
of produce were sent out the State of Illinois during the past year.


In Central and Southern Illinois uncommon advantages are presented for
the extension of Stock raising. All kinds of Cattle, Horses, Mules,
Sheep, Hogs, &c., of the best breeds, yield handsome profits; large
fortunes have already been made, and the field is open for others to
enter with the fairest prospects of like results. Dairy Farming also
presents its inducements to many.


The experiments in Cotton culture are of very great promise. Commencing
in latitude 39 deg. 30 min. (see Mattoon on the Branch, and Assumption
on the Main Line), the Company owns thousands of acres well adapted to
the perfection of this fibre. A settler having a family of young
children, can turn their youthful labor to a most profitable account in
the growth and perfection of this plant.


Traverses the whole length of the State, from the banks of the
Mississippi and Lake Michigan to the Ohio. As its name imports, the
Railroad runs through the centre of the State, and on either side of the
road along its whole length lie the lands offered for sale.


There are Ninety-eight Depots on the Company's Railway, giving about one
every seven miles. Cities, Towns and Villages are situated at convenient
distances throughout the whole route, where every desirable commodity
may be found as readily as in the oldest cities of the Union, and where
buyers are to be met for all kinds of farm produce.


Mechanics and working-men will find the free school system encouraged by
the State, and endowed with a large revenue for the support of the
schools. Children can live in sight of the school, the college, the
church, and grow up with the prosperity of the leading State in the
Great Western Empire.

       *       *       *       *       *


  80 acres at $10 per acre, with interest at 6 per ct. annually
  on the following terms:

  Cash payment                 $48 00

  Payment in one year           48 00
     "    in two years          48 00
     "    in three years        48 00
     "    in four years        236 00
     "    in five years        224 00
     "    in six years         212 00

  40 acres, at $10 00 per acre:

  Cash payment                 $24 00

  Payment in one year           24 00
     "    in two years          24 00
     "    in three years        24 00
     "    in four years        118 00
     "    in five years        112 00
     "    in six years         106 00

       *       *       *       *       *

   Number 15.         25 Cents.





   Literature and National Policy.

        MARCH, 1863.







   Turkey. A. Comté, Jr.,                                        257

   False Estimations,                                            274

   The Blue Handkerchief,                                        276

   Gold,                                                         279

   Last Words. Ingoldsby North,                                  282

   Parting. Edward S. Rand, Jr.,                                 288

   A Merchant's Story. By the author of 'Among the Pines,'       289

   The Captain of '63 to his Men. Mary E. Nealy,                 315

   The Vision of the Monk Gabriel. Eleanor C. Donnelly,          316

   The Century of Inventions. Charles G. Leland,                 318

   The Lady and her Slave,                                       330

   For and Against,                                              334

   European Opinion. Hon. F.P. Stanton,                          340

   The Huguenots. Hon. G.P. Disosway,                            348

   Montgomery in Secession Time,                                 354

   The Union. By Hon. Robert J. Walker,                          366

   The Soldier's Burial,                                         373

   Literary Notices,                                             374

   Editor's Table,                                               379

'SUNSHINE IN THOUGHT,' by Charles Godfrey Leland, one of the editors of
this magazine, has just been issued by Charles T. Evans.

'MY SOUTHERN FRIENDS,' by the author of 'Among the Pines,' will be
published in book form, by Carlton, 448 Broadway, about March 1st.

       *       *       *       *       *

ENTERED, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1862, by JAMES R.
GILMORE, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United
States for the Southern District of New York.


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