DECEMBER 27, 1863
Notes on Trade–The Week.
commercial week commenced without the receipt of those advices per the
regular steamer from New York due, or considered due on every Monday
morning. There was nothing lost or interrupted by the delay. The
movements for the week, commercially, have not been to an extent calling
for more than a brief notice. The holiday season has arrived, and the
annual festivities, thus far, have been commensurate with the financial
condition of our community. The memorable 23d of December, 1814, has
been overlooked–its remembrance swallowed up by the momentous crisis
through which we are now passing. Commercially speaking, the course of
trade for the week has been regular. Our great staple, cotton, has been
in active request, commanding good prices, which have from day to day
been advancing, so that the sales by auction yesterday of a few hundred
bales attained the highest prices of the season, indicating strong
confidence in the article, sustained as it were by one or two operators
who have recently appeared on our stage, whose presence and movements
are regarded as giving a tone and influence to the market. It is
refreshing, encouraging and enlivening to note the confidence and
boldness with which some of the old operators of former days now enter
the market. True, the stock and the receipts are limited, yet, the
belief in the great staples gives a tone to the general market. The
receipts are fully up to expectations, and in some cases are in excess.
The packet Ida May, from
Natchez, brought in yesterday 524 bales. This cargo, with 172 bales by
the steamer Chenango, from
Vicksburg on Thursday last, makes the total receipts from the two
places, Natchez and Vicksburg and vicinity since the 2d instant, foot up
4279 (four thousand two hundred and seventy-nine) bales, which cover our
estimates made on the 2d instant for this month. Nevertheless, the
receipts of cotton in bales have been light. The sugar market has been
under good supplies during the week; in fact, the depot yesterday was
under large receipts from the coast above, as well as the daily quantum
via the Opelousas Railroad. The rangers and factors (principals)
complained of general quietness. Whether there is a deficiency in
capital, or lack of resources and facilities to move the crop as
received, or whether prices are too high, we cannot say, but suffice it
to say the views of the buyers, for the past four or five days, are not
commensurate with the enhanced prices attending the production of the
article for the past year, and the two cents per pound internal revenue
intercourse with the West is assuming some degree of regularity. The
arrivals from St. Louis during the week, though not numerous, lead to
the hope of steady supplies, regular stocks, and we hope regular low
prices for the season. One encouraging feature noted is a decline in the
rates of freight; flour from St. Louis is delivered at two dollars per
barrel freight, and still lower prices from Cairo. The price of flour is
well maintained, though we observe that the best brands command in
Boston $9-11, and something less in New York; these figures do not
embrace shipping or merchantable flour. Our family grocers charge $10,
$11 and $12 per barrel. It, therefore, is a fixed fact that dear bread
is an institution for New Orleans. There have been no arrivals during
the week from Louisville, Cincinnati nor out of the Ohio. We cannot
account for this, unless they have nothing in the way of produce or
Western notions to send hither. ->
have to note some novel movements in the course and caprices of trade.
The custom-house records inform us of the shipment of apples and
potatoes by steamboats up the river, whether as return cargo and the
want of a market we are not directly informed. We are aware that some
articles of Western productions have been sold at great loss on our
levee, and for some kinds there is very little encouragement.
coal market appears to be under good supply for the time being only.
Unless dealers in the black diamonds are willing to sell at a loss,
present rates or yard selling prices may be considered as steady. The
Levee presents several large parcels, but a good share is on account of
the general dry goods and associate branches of trade we have very
little improvement to note. Sales are confined to cash only, and for
plantation supplies. Our wholesale grocers have ample stocks; so have
our clothing, shoe and hat dealers, as well as fancy dealers. Canal
street was thronged yesterday; in fact, the turn-out appeared to be
general, and indicated something of gala times.
Court.–John M. Wintz was examined on a charge of taking
goods from the city without a pass, and landing them outside of the
lines. The shipment was one of those taken up the river by the steamboat
Ben Franklin, and consisted of five barrels of potatoes, eight
barrels of whiskey, two casks of wine, seventy-five pounds of powder,
and some other articles, part of which were marked “stores for the Ben Franklin.” Wintz pleased, through his counsel, Mr. Earhart,
that a certain custom-house officer was deeper in the matter than he
was, and that he was placed on shore to take charge of the goods, rather
than because he had any financial interest in them. After a full
investigation the matter was taken under advisement by the court.
Delaney and Dr. Samuel J. Lacook, who reside near Baton Rouge, outside
of the lines, were examined in relation to four hogsheads of sugar and
two teams, which had been arrested for going towards Dixie. As, however,
the parties live beyond the lines, it was held that they, being loyal
citizens, might trade among themselves. The case was therefore
dismissed, and the sugar and teams were ordered to be returned to their
DAILY RICHMOND EXAMINER (VA)
The Averill Raid.
the Editor of the Examiner:
raid is over. Averill has gone, not back up the spout, but back into his
den. Cast your eye upon a map, and I’ll tell you how he went and how
he came. He came from New creek, a depot on the Baltimore and Ohio
railroad, in the county of Hardy, along the western base of the
Shenandoah mountains, through Covington to Salem, burnt things
generally, and returned over nearly the same route. Imboden seized the
gap where the Parkersburg turnpike crosses the Shenandoah, and prevented
a raid on Staunton. Averill left five hundred men to hold Imboden there
and pushed on towards Salem. That general could not pursue without
uncovering Staunton–the force threatening nearly equalling his own.
General Lee was informed of the situation of affairs.
commences the reign of major-generals and military science.
Major-General Jubal A. Early came. Major-General Fitzhugh Lee came.
Brigadier-General Walker came. Brigadier-General Thomas came. Their
staffs came. They all took a drink. General Early took two.
Brigadier-General Wickham came. Colonel Chambliss, commanding brigade,
came. They smiled also.
Averill was opposite Staunton, Fitz Lee was at Ivy depot, on the
Virginia Central railroad, a day’s march from that town. A fortunate
occurrence, indeed. Everybody thought Averill was “treed” now. Lee
was ordered across the Blue Ridge. He passed through Brown’s gap, and
struck the Valley turnpike at Mount Crawford, eight miles above
Harrisonburg–a miserable mistake. One day’s march lost. He then
marched towards Harrisonburg, then towards Staunton. Another day gone
for nothing. He finally reached Staunton, where he ought to have been on
the first night. Still there was plenty of time to cut Averill off. Lee
and Imboden marched day and night to Lexington, and then towards
Covington. They had yet time enough to intercept him. Here was committed
the fatal and foolish blunder. While Lee and Imboden were on the road to
Covington, in striking distance of that place, word was sent the Yankees
were marching towards Buchanan, instead of Covington. No man ought to
have put credence in a statement so utterly absurd as that the enemy
were going from Salem to that place. Such a statement pre-supposes
Averill deliberately placing himself past escape, and, therefore, run
raving mad. Such improbable rumors should never be entertained for a
moment, much less made the basis of important military movements. The
order was obeyed. The troops turned and marched back, and at night were
neither at Buchanan or Covington.
story is told in a few words. The Yankees passed through Covington, and,
to their great amazement, escaped. The rumor about Buchanan was the tale
of some frightened fool. The enemy, in terror and demoralization, fled
from Sale at full speed–destroying their train and artillery. Jackson
knocked some in the head; the citizens beat the brains out of some
others; one famer in Alleghany killed six; some were scattered in the
mountains, and are being picked up here and there; the rapid streams
drowned many; but the main part have gone whence they came, wondering
how they did get away. It is hardly necessary to add, the humblest
private in the ranks, if he possessed enough sense to eat and drink, not
only could, but would have
managed better. Old Stonewall would have marched on, caught and killed
the Yankees. What Lee thought, this writer don’t know. They who know
say Imboden begged to go to Covington. He made it plain to the dullest
mind that the Buchanan story was beyond belief. What’s done is done.
language can tell the suffering of our men. They were in saddle day and
night, save a few hours between midnight and day. They were beat up by
their officers with their swords–the only means of arousing
them–numb and sleepy. Some froze to death, others were taken from
horses senseless. They forded swollen streams, and their clothes stiff
frozen, rattled as they rode. It rained in torrents and froze as it
fell. In the mountain paths the ice was cut from the roads before they
ventured to ride over it. One horse slipped over the precipice–the
rider was leading him–he never looked over after him. ->
whole matter is summed up in a couple of sentences. Averill was penned
up. McCausland, Echols and Jackson at one gate, Lee and Imboden at the
other. Some ass suggested he might escape by
jumping down the well and coming out in Japan, i.e., go to Buchanan.
Early ordered them to leave a gate open and guard the well. He did not
the Yankees coolly came up the Valley, through Edenburg, New Market, up
to Harrisonburg, within twenty-five miles of Staunton. This was bearding
the lion in his den. Jubal took the field, at the head of company Q and
a party of substitute men, farmers and plow boys, called “home
guards.” The Yankees got after him, and the “major-general
commanding” lost his hat in the race. The last heard of him he was
pursuing the enemy with part of his division–footmen after
cavalry–with fine prospects of overtaking them somewhere in China,
perhaps about the “great wall.” The Yankees were retreating towards
the “Devil Hole,” Early bound for the same place! They did very
little damage in the Valley.
is the moral. The marshals under Napoleon’s eye were invincible–with
separate commands, blunderers. A general of division, with General
Robert E. Lee to plan and put him in the right place, does well. Mosby
would plan and execute a fight or strategic movement better than
Longstreet at Suffolk and Knoxville, Jubal Early at Staunton.
blunt response to some parlor or bar-room strategist in Richmond,
“More men, but fewer orders,” was wisdom in an axiom–true then,
just as true now as when the Hero of the Valley uttered it. It is
difficult to direct, especially by couriers, the movement of troops a
hundred miles distant, among mountains the “ranking” general never
saw except on an inaccurate map. It is not every commander that can
point out roads he never heard of, and by paths he never dreamed of, as
the proper ones to cut off an enemy. Bullets, not brains, are needed
passed without any particular event stirring the community.
Almost everybody kept Christmas after a fashion peculiar to himself.
There was a great deal of drinking and guzzling, both in public and
private, and, per consequence, numerous exhibitions of drunkenness among
the young men. There were several small riots in as many quarters of the
town, resulting in the disfigurement of a half-dozen faces, but no
deaths. The upper and lower cages were tenanted to their capacity
on Christmas eve; and, no court sitting on Christmas morning, all who
could not give bail spent Christmas where they least expected it–in
the lock-up. Christmas night wound up with a carnival at the theatre,
which overflowed with boozy men and boys. The spectacular and volcanic
play of “Massaneillo” on the stage, was varied by fighting, cursing,
and pulling and hauling in the parquetted.
the bar-rooms took in more money than they wanted during the day, and
closed early in the evening. Drunken men went to bed, and the merry ones
bawled through the streets until midnight came down, and threw her
mantle of silence over the exhausted city.
morning, Richmond rose with a headache and disordered stomach, and made
a mental calculation of the loss and gain, pleasure and pain experienced
and yet in store for the merry Christmas keepers.
DECEMBER 29, 1863
BOSTON DAILY ADVERTISER
The $300 Exemption:
Is it for the Benefit of the Rich or the Poor?
the Editors of the Boston Daily Advertiser:
can answer this by appealing to general principles and to particular
away this limitation: set every conscript and his broker to finding
substitutes, and the result can only be a panic, which will run up the
price of procuring substitutes (chiefly absorbed by runners) to much
more than the fair price.
for particular instances.
’62 the first two days’ drawings in Boston carried up the price of
substitutes from only $100 or $200 to $500. The draft was suspended to
try volunteering, when bounties, after reaching in a few cases $250,
went down to $50, as the quotas filled.
can doubt then that the repeal of the exemption clause will raise the
price of substitutes. Will this benefit the rich?
depends somewhat upon the proportion which the able bodied rich men bear
to the other able bodied men of the community; but those who have had
experience in recruiting here, and who know how the experiment worked in
France, believe that the chief benefit of the repeal will inure to the
claim of middle men known as man brokers, runners and land sharks. Some
of these are doubtless poor now, but if we repeal the exemption clause
and thus distribute fifty millions among them, they will become rich and
will rival Shoddy!
is a halfway measure proposed of raising the exemption fee, which ought
to be looked carefully into.
theory upon which we call upon the able bodied class is, that they own all the physical military capital of the country; but
we are making the draft, (as we ought to do,) upon the combined monied
and physical capital, for we allow money to procure either an exemption
or a substitute.
having then become a mixed question of a draft of money and men–why
should the able-bodied class bear the whole burthen of it in addition to
their full share of other taxes?
property of the country is probably much more than half owned by women, children, and men over 45 or otherwise
not put on this exempt class a fair share of the burden?
do this we ought rather to decrease than increase the exemption fee and
make up the price of a substitute by a bounty out of the common fund,
that is out of the U. S. Treasury.
it stands today, the price of a substitute is evidently something over
$625, for this bounty does not bring them very freely in Massachusetts,
although it is believed that it would if we take the whole
true way to divide the burden fairly would be–
To determine what price would bring in substitutes out of the old
soldiers and the community.
To distribute this price fairly.
$700 to be the necessary price. Let the able-bodied class pay $300 as
now, ether in service or in money, but let the whole exemption fee be
used as a bonus to veterans as
is done now in France. Then let the Treasury give a bounty of $400 to
in this case the able-bodied men bear their full share of the burthen,
for they pay in taxes part of the exemption fee and in addition the $400
this connection, another condition comes up. Why not extend the
enrolment to men of 50 years? Are they not quite as able to bear
exposure as the very young conscripts who make so large a part of our
armies? They certainly are better able to pay the exemption fee.
The Exchange of Prisoners.
Dec. 27.–The Richmond Enquirer
of the 17th inst. says that our Government has abandoned every point
except the treatment of Negro prisoners. Now the simple truth is our
Government has not abandoned any point. It is known that Major-Gen.
Butler, who has superseded Gen. Meredith as the agent or medium for the
exchange of prisoners, has no such instructions. The prisoners at Forts
Norfolk and McHenry and Point Lookout have been placed under his orders,
and he is authorized to conduct the exchange man for man and officer for
officer of equal rank with those paroled and sent forward by himself.
object is to make an even exchange as far as the prisoners in the rebel
possession will permit, and, governed by humane motives, the effort will
be made to procure the release of those who have for the longest time
been held as prisoners. Colored troops and their officers, in conducting
the exchange, will be placed on an equality with all other troops, and
so of colored men in civil employment. The honor and dignity of the
Government in the protection of such colored persons and their officers
will not be compromised. The recent visit of General Hitchcock to
Fortress Monroe was to confer with General Butler and to communicate to
him the orders of the government upon this subject.
Dog Mail Train.—The following extract from a private letter
from Pembina shows how the mail is transported from that point to Crow
should have written to you four days ago, but the mail had to lay over
one trip on account of the lameness of one of the carrier dogs. You will
probably think it strange that the great United States mail should be
delayed several days for such a cause, but nevertheless it was. The mail
is carried from here to Crow Wing, a distance of three hundred and fifty
miles, by dog trains, and if one set of dogs get foot sore when their
turn comes, the mail has to lay over. Tomorrow they say the dogs will be
right and the mail will go forward. I saw the first dog mail train leave
here on last mail day. It consisted of three middling dogs. They looked
more like wolves than dogs. They had regular harness, very fancifully
ornamented, and buckskin saddles, gorgeously worked with beads. The dogs
are driven in tandem style. They go from forty to fifty miles per day,
the half breed driver trotting behind most of the way.–St.
Paul (Minn.) Pioneer, Dec. 20.
DECEMBER 30, 1863
NEW HAMPSHIRE PATRIOT & GAZETTE
Democratic Association of Camden, New Jersey, have adopted and
promulgated a declaration of views and principles worthy of the
patriotic reputation of the “Jersey Blues.” They rebuke in a manly
and patriotic spirit the unlawful acts and alarming usurpations of the
President and his subordinates, and urge upon the people the duty of
lawfully resisting an restraining these gross infringements of their
rights and liberties. They truly declare that the “Constitution has
been overthrown, and a despotism of the most tyrannous character has
been established in its place,” and in support of this assertion they
present the following “bill of particulars,” which every intelligent
reader must say is “a true bill:”–
The freedom of speech has been violated by the arrest and imprisonment
of a number of persons, charged with no crime, and whose only offense
was the utterance of sentiments distasteful to the men in power.
The freedom of the press has been subverted by the suppression of a
number of newspapers.
The right to security from arrest, when no crime is charged, has been
disregarded in the arrest and incarceration of a large number of
persons, denounced by the parasites of the Administration as
“sympathizers with the rebellion.”
The right to security from unlawful searches and seizures has been
violated in numerous instances, in which domiciles have been visited,
and papers, &c., seized without legal authority.
The right to a trial by jury has been refused in the cases of citizens
arrested and imprisoned, or banished by military orders or
The right to personal freedom has been taken from poor men by the
Conscription act, which compels persons who are unable to pay $300 to
enter the army. This act is an assumption of power not given by the
Constitution, and it makes a grossly unjust distinction between the rich
and the poor man.
The freedom of every citizen has been taken from him, by the illegal and
unnecessary suspension of the right to demand the writ of habeas corpus.
The right of property has been abrogated by the Emancipation
Proclamation and the Confiscation act.
The inviolability of contracts has been destroyed by the act, which
makes depreciated Treasury notes a legal
tender for all debts.
The freedom of religious worship has been violated on repeated occasions
by the interference of military officers.
The right of the States to the management of their militia has been
taken from them by the Conscription act, which places the whole military
power of the country at the disposal of the President.
The formation of the State of “West Virginia” was a violation of the
3d section of the 4th article of the Constitution.
The heretofore undisputed right of the people to elect their legislators
and rulers has been taken from them, and the will of majorities
disregarded, as is abundantly manifested in the manner in which
elections have recently been carried by the grossest corruption in
Northern States, and by military orders in the border States of the
is truly a fearful arraignment, but every item of it is true to the
letter; and yet every man who complains of these outrages upon the
Constitution and the sacred rights of the citizen, is coarsely denounced
a “traitor” or “rebel sympathizer” by the tools of power who are
daily growing rich upon the ruin of their country. Let candid and
patriotic men read these plain statements and reflect carefully upon
them. Let them then consider their duty to themselves, their children
and their country. The men of New Hampshire and the men of New Jersey
are alike in this matter; the whole country and all its people are
imperiled. Let us then act in accordance with the declaration of our New
Jersey friends, who say:
therefore becomes us as men “who know our rights, and have the courage
to maintain them,” to speak to these recreants to truth, justice and
honor, who have filched from us “all those noble rights which freemen
love,” in tones which may not be misunderstood, telling them that our Constitution must and shall be restored; and that we will not be
deterred by threats, menaces, insults and outrages, from maintaining the
noble heritage which we have received from the hands of the patriots and
sages of the purer days of the Republic.
is no “war news” of any account. We hear nothing from Tennessee. The
rebels report that in a skirmish at Bean’s Station, Longstreet forced
our forces to retreat, and captured 70 wagon loads of stores and some
prisoners, but lost 800 in killed and wounded. Longstreet still remains
in East Tennessee. It is stated that Gen. Johnston has taken command of
the rebel army near Chattanooga.
Averill recently made a very successful raid into Southwestern Virginia.
He cut the railroad at Salem, 60 miles southwest of Lynchburg, and he
Salem three depots were burned, containing 20,000 barrels flour, 10,000
bushels wheat, 100,000 bushels shelled corn, 50,000 bushels oats, 2000
pounds meat, several cords of leather, 1000 sacks of salt, 31 boxes of
clothing, 20 bales of cotton, a large amount of hampers, shoes and
saddles, equipments, tools, oil, tar, and various other stores, and 100
wagons. The water station, turn-table and three cars were burned, and
the railroad track torn up and the rails destroyed as much as possible
in six hours. Five bridges and several culverts were destroyed over an
extent of fifteen miles. A large quantity of bridge-timber and repairing
materials were also destroyed.”
his return he encountered strong forces of the enemy, but managed to
escape with small loss. He says:
loss is six men drowned, one officer and four men wounded, and four
officers and ninety men missing.
captured about 200 prisoners, but have retained but four officers and 60
men on account of their inability to walk. We took also about 150
Charleston we learn that Gen. Gilmore continues to throw shells into the
city, destroying some buildings daily, and that firing between the
batteries and ships continues as usual, without any practical results.
army of the Potomac is quiet, and will continue so for some months
EASTERN ARGUS (ME)
What Might Happen from an Error in a Newspaper.
[From the Yedoi Democrat,
December, A. D. 5201.]
some workmen were excavating the other day, near the city of Sigwi, they
discovered a very ancient box, which was found to contain a large sheet
of paper covered over with hieroglyphics. They were about to throw the
paper away, when, fortunately, Professor Yamwidi happening to pass, they
submitted it to his examination. No sooner did it meet his eye than,
uttering an exclamation of joy, he cried out, “A proof! A proof!”
Our readers will remember that the learned Professor has long maintained
that our present Empire of Vidoo was formerly inhabited by a race of
savages called Yankees, with whose language he professes to have come
acquaintance. The learned world, however, has treated this hypothesis as
a myth, based upon knowledge purely empirical, denying the existence of
data sufficient to establish such a theory. The data hitherto have
certainly been rather scanty, consisting merely of a Dictionary of
hieroglyphics, which was discovered some few years ago, and said to be
the work of an ancient astrologer named Webster. By dint of untiring
energy and vast erudition, Prof. Yamwidi succeeded in acquiring some
knowledge of the remarkable language it treats of, but, in spite of
great historical research, was unable to obtain any definite information
of the people by whom it was spoken. The learned gentleman’s joy may,
therefore, be conceived, when, in the characters traced upon the paper
in question, he recognized the same language he had so ardently studied
from his Dictionary. Wrapping the treasure carefully up, he hurried home
to his study, where for seven days and nights he labored incessantly at
its translation. The result is that he has given to the world the most
startling evidence of what he has in vain endeavored to prove, namely,
that this very Empire, Vidoo, was formerly called the United States,
whose people spoke a barbarous tongue called English.
appears that the above paper was a sort of register of passing events,
and is called the Republican Clarion, published at the ancient city of Skowhegan. From various
information it contains, the probability is that it will effect a
complete revolution in our notions of the past, especially in our ideas
of civilization in the 19th century. We present to our readers one short
paragraph which, whilst it throws a light upon the darkness of that
benighted age, will strike them with horror and amazement, and will
render them thankful that it has pleased Heaven to cast their lot in the
52d century. This is the translation:
year 1,000,000 hags were slaughtered and packed in Chicago, worth
$10,000,000. The number for the present year will reach the value of
Professor Yamwidi informs us that this word “hag” is defined in the
dictionary as meaning a “witch;” that is, an ugly old woman, [who,]
for certain unhallowed purposes, was believed to have communication with
the Devil, which crime was punishable by death under circumstances of
great barbarity. We had imagined this gross superstition to have died
out early in the 18th century, but we here find proofs of its existing
many years later, and in the most enlightened country of that remote
million human beings slaughtered in one year, and upon such a deplorable
charge; and yet, occasioning so little notice that the only record we find
of it is in the obscure paragraph quoted! Such frightful atrocities strike
us dumb with horror, which is mingled with the most unmitigated disgust,
when the horrible suspicion creeps into our mind that these “hags” were
actually converted into human food; for we are plainly told that they were
packed in barrels and estimated at a market value. We tremble to think of
the estimation in which our species will be held when this intelligence
reaches our contemporaries of the sun and moon. What language can express
our detestation of such fiendish practices? We now understand the ancient
but enlightened sage crying that “man’s inhumanity to old women makes
countless thousands mourn.” We would fain draw a veil over this appalling
picture, saying with a sigh, “O, mores! O tempora!” for our horror
culminates at the writer’s diabolical exultation over the prospect of the
number of victims being doubled in the following year.1
is with infinite relief that we turn to other ideas suggested by this
paragraph. We refer to the amazing populations these ancient cities must
have contained; for judging by this analogy, this city of Chicago must have
contained at least fifty millions of people, which is just double the
population of the largest city of the present day, namely, our capital Xodi,
which contains only twenty-five millions. And yet there appear to have been
other cities still larger than Chicago, such as London, New York, &c.
Truly, when we leave superstition out of the question, we know not whether
to consider ourselves in advance or behind that age, for although we have
our Electric Propeller, by which we can visit the heavenly bodies, and in a
few moments explore the regions of space, yet we have no cities at all to be
compared with those of yore. We cannot take leave of this interesting
subject without pointing out the great uncertainty which hangs over all
human knowledge. It was thought we had reared a noble historical structure
replete with truth, yet we find it crumbling away before a statement
contained in five lines, which upsets all our preconceived opinions as to
the progress of civilization. It would seem that we are not only ignorant of
the future, but also of the past, and we are sure of nothing save that we
Bogus Looking.—The statement that Lord Lyons wrote to Earl
Russell predicting the close of the war in three months. It may be another
of Seward’s ninety day predictions, and just as reliable as the rest. We
see no republican who expresses any such expectation that the war will be
closed the coming year. Secretary Chase has made his estimate for two more
years of war.
effort now making to amend the Constitution proceeds from motives which
are to be respected, but indicates how far the people of the North have
degenerated from the independence of their sires. Our King George is the
Constitution, which we lack the courage to confront. Ask those who favor
the amendment to abolish and prohibit slavery how they propose to regard
the compromises, and they must tell you, either as rubbish or as vital
obligations. If the former, what need to stop now, amid the destruction
of slavery, to effect a partial revision of the Constitution, which is
hereafter to be thoroughly remodeled? If the latter, then it is manifest
that we are afraid to pronounce the compromises decreed three years ago.
And as these can be valid, if valid at all, only for the loyal
slaveholders of the Border States, it follows that we are slaves at this
hour to the rule of less than sixty thousand men–a handful [of] which,
concentrated upon the battle-field or within a fortified city like
Charleston, we should sweep out of existence without remorse in order to
recover for the national authority a few acres of rebellious soil.
the sake of such loyal and well-meaning minds as are still bound by the
fetters of the Constitution, the following views are presented of our
situation in regard to that instrument, and of the powers which we may
employ in behalf of universal emancipation.
“The Union as it was” having perished at the hands of slavery, a
party to the contract of ’87, the Constitution, which was but the
record of that contract, perished at the same time; and to-day we are
either sailing without a written charter or for convenience we retain as
many of the old forms as are subservient to our interests. In this view
of the posture of affairs, there is nothing in the Constitution but what
we choose to keep or to place there; and it is either no obstacle to our
action against slavery, or we are morally culpable for making it so.
There used to be some who contended that slavery found no foothold in
the Constitution, because the word slave was nowhere expressed; and
others who admitted the design of the framers to give security to the
system in the clauses familiarly known as the compromises, but who
claimed a right to avail themselves of the letter of the text in
opposition to its spirit, and to turn the decorous language adopted
through shame to the defeat of the odorous purpose which it concealed.
Those who still entertain these opinions have no excuse for opposition
to a general emancipation act on the part of Congress.
The rebellion of slavery, which was designed
to destroy every vestige of the Constitution, may be considered
simply to have purged it of all complicity with the system. In that
case, we have a charter amended by Jefferson Davis & Co., who
withdrew from the protection it afforded to slavery, in order to defend
the sum of all villainies with cannon and bayonet. Then we are not only
empowered to proceed against slavery, but to fail to do so is to
disregard the plainest injunctions of the Constitution, viz (among
others) the clause which directs the United States to guarantee each
State a Republican form of government. Inaction, as well as action in
support of slavery, becomes unconstitutional. ->
Grant, however, that the compromises remain in full force for that
portion of slavery which has not rebelled, then,
We are no more obliged to respect them than we are many other clauses of
the same instrument, to wit, the clause just quoted, which the President
is applying to the seceded States in process of return to the Union, and
which, by the same logic, he ought to apply to every anti-republican
State in the union; the clause which secures to the citizens of each
State the privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States;
the clause which ensures freedom of speech and of the press, that which
instructs Congress to provide for the general welfare, &c., &c.
If here arises a conflict of duties, we certainly have the right to
choose between them, and if our choice involves the overthrow of
slavery, we cannot be charged with unconstitutional procedure.
But were we never so faithful in maintaining the compromises, this would
not be to stand by the Constitution. For our adherence to those criminal
bargains in the past has been the cause of the present deadly assault
upon that instrument, and the erection of a rival which has challenged
the allegiance of one half the continent.
Even though, because slavery still lives in the Constitution, freedom is
utterly banished from it or stifled, still the War Power–the right of
the nation to defend itself from commotion or destruction–is left us,
to be employed as necessity shall dictate. And the same logic which
justified its use in the seceded States would have sustained the
President in extending his Proclamation of Freedom to the Border Slave
States as well. What he left undone may yet be done by the Executive
alone, or in conjunction with Congress. It is never too late to mend.
The President acts wisely in reminding us that the War Power is
constitutional that it is an invaluable instrumentality, and that he
does not mean to relinquish it.
Yet if we were best and hampered in every way, and there appeared no
issue from the toils of the Constitution, we possess the same right that
was inherent in our fathers, to form a new government whenever the old
has failed to secure the ends for which it was framed. Read the preamble
to the Constitution. You find there the justification of the
establishment which follows, and also its condemnation, whenever a
breach is opened between the preamble and the text. The welfare of the
people is ever the highest law. If the Constitution of a previous
century is destructive of that welfare, we have the revolutionary right
to return to first principles. We might redeem our character from the
imputation of cowardice and servility, if we did but acknowledge what
the election of Abraham Lincoln proves to have been a fact, that the
rebellion of the South was merely a counter to the revolution at the
North in opposition to slavery.
JANUARY 2, 1864
STOUGHTON SENTINEL (MA)
Youngster.—Bybus has a little four-year old, a powerful,
athletic, dumpy little thing with flaxenest hair and the azurest eyes
ever seen. Little Jacky has a pewter squirt, a gift bestowed upon him by
his grandmother against a rainy day. With this weapon he is very expert,
and will steal way every drop of tea out of your cup before your face.
One day, his mother observing the range of the piece from two cups–one
filled with tea, the other with cocoa–upon asking Jack why he did so,
says he in reply: “You see, mar, I heard par say, yesterday, that
cocoa goes twice as far as tea, and I’m just trying a forty-rod
spiffick with both to see whether the old man has got the hang of it.”
Which of us would not gladly be father, or even grandmother, of such a
four-year-old as that?
Cotton Prospects for 1864.—The English journals continue to
discuss the subject of the cotton prospects for 1864. The latest and
fullest paper on the subject appears in the Manchester Examiner,
in which the writer, after an exhaustive review of the facts in the
case, presents the following results: first, that the production of
cotton in other countries than the southern States of America is
steadily increasing, the imports of 1863 exceeding probably those of
1862 by one million bales, thus lessening exclusive dependence upon one
source of supply; secondly, that the three countries which have shown
the most desire to contribute to this result–Egypt, Turkey and
Italy–possess advantages in climate, soil, and facility of access to
the English market which enable them to compete successfully with the
southern States of America not only in quality, but also in cost of
production. The writer is confident that in a few years the coast of the
Mediterranean will furnish an annual supply of two million bales. Of
India he does not take so hopeful a view.
Lock.—A German watchmaker has recently invented a wonderful
guard against burglars. It is a sort of watch which is applied under
locks to prevent them from being opened by Chubb himself. The door is
locked as usual, taking care to wind up the watch until the key points
to the hour at which the shopkeeper wishes to open the door. After this
is done, nobody can open the door until the appointed time. Is not this
system more inconvenient than the apprehension of robbery, which is a
most distant danger? If the shopkeeper forgets anything, if a fire
breaks out at his next door neighbor’s, or in his own shop, if any one
of those thousand accidents of this sort which are constantly occurring
takes place, what is the shopkeeper with the watch-lock to do?–Home Journal.
Greatest Gold Diggings in the World.—A letter from Captain
Fisk’s expedition to ascertain the nest northern route to the gold
diggings, dated Bannock City, Grasshopper creek, Idaho Territory, says
the expeditionary party arrived at
that place a week previously, all well. The diggings near that place are
yielding $500,000 per week. The party expect to winter there, as the
road to Wall-Walla (en route for the Pacific) is almost impassable. The
writer adds that the gold mines now being discovered in that region are
some of the richest in the world.
Town’s Quota, under the late call for volunteers, is now
nearly filled. It is a credit to the town and also to those men who have
used every means in their power to advance enlistments and save the
authorities from resorting to a draft upon the town. While many towns
are yet far behind, Stoughton will, by the 5th of January, we doubt not,
have its 60 men all sworn into the service. The plan adopted for raising
volunteers by the committee chosen for that purpose, was heartily
entered into by the enrolled men, and each squad felt the responsibility
of one volunteer resting upon them. On Wednesday evening the citizens of
East Stoughton, accompanied by the Quincy band, came to this village and
a large assembly met at Chemung Hall, where the reports of the several
squads were listened to. Eleven squads reported their man “all
right.” Another meeting will be held to-night at East Stoughton, and
on Monday evening the doors of Chemung Hall will be thrown open for the
Apotheosis of Old John Brown.—A Parisian artist has just
finished painting which was ordered by the Haytien government, and is to
be placed in the Senate chamber. The subject is “John Brown, crowned
by a Negro and a mulatto.” The work is very fairly done, but the
details are rather curious, abounding in absurd anachronisms. The
principal figure–that of John Brown–is almost colossal. Upon his
right stands the Negro, dressed in a costume of Louis the Sixteenth, and
on the left a mulatto, with dark face but purely Caucasian features. He
is dressed in the full uniform of a Haytien general. The two hold a
laurel wreath, which they are about placing upon the head of the hero of
Harper’s Ferry. In the back ground are palm and other tropical fruit
trees, while, peeping through clouds above, is a face, intended to
represent that of the Divine Father, looking approvingly upon the
apotheosis. The design of the picture was forwarded to the artist from
Deaths on Saturday.—The English throne was declared vacant
on Saturday, Feb. 16th, 1688. William III died on Saturday, March 8th,
1702; Queen Anne died on Saturday, Aug. 1st, 1774; George I at two
o’clock on Sunday morning, June 11th, 1727 (which in common parlance
is called Saturday night); George II died on Saturday, Oct. 25th, 1700;
George the IV on Saturday, June 6th, 1835; the Prince Consort died on
Saturday, Dec. 14th, 1861.
1 “O mores, o tempora” is Latin for “Oh, the customs! Oh, the
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