MARCH 13, 1864

Danish Defences.

The war in Demark has come to a pause. The Danes are defeated, as it was known they must be without foreign help, and since the abandonment of their cause by England there was no hope of any aid from abroad in resisting the combined march of the two great military powers of Germany. A little kingdom of about 1,600,000 Danes has been unable to maintain itself against Austria and Prussia, which, making this war as Great Powers of Europe, have 53,000,000 of inhabitants in concurrence, so far as the fact of hostility is avowed, with the German Confederation, which has, outside of Prussia and Austria, 18,000,000 more. The assailants of Denmark therefore number of population in and out of the German Confederation more than 70,000,000 of subjects. The struggle never was a moment in doubt when it was discovered that on the application of force Denmark was to be left unsupported.

Schleswig and Holstein are now fully occupied by the adversaries of Denmark–Holstein for the German Confederation, nominally to compel the Danish King to govern in conformity to the articles of the German Confederation, of which he is a member as Duke of Holstein; and Schleswig, by the forces of Austria and Prussia, nominally to exact the fulfillment of certain obligations towards Schleswig undertaken by Denmark in the Treaty of London to which the occupying Governments were parties. In point of fact, however, the Germans, who have seized Holstein, are bent upon severing it entirely from the Danish Crown, by establishing its independence under the Duke of Augustenburg, and having him as the true representative of the Duchy of the German Diet. The occupation of Schleswig by the two powers is held by some with a show of plausibility to be with the intent of inscribing an ancient constitution which makes Schleswig and Holstein inseparable, and adds both to Germany.

The war with Denmark is for all present purposes over. The heavy and disturbing question is whether the future can be so shaped and directed under the influence of the other great powers of Europe so as to avoid such an overthrow of subsisting treaties and other arguments for the balance of power among themselves as to prevent a continental war. There comes by the late advices a confident but unaccountable prediction that peace is now sure to be permanent. The expectation of peace is that now these German Powers have got the full guaranty they exacted for the fulfillment of such terms as Denmark may be persuaded by these measures to accede to, they will be prepared to consult with the other great powers on terms of settlement, and that such a league will be made of powerful sovereigns, that whatever may be decided upon must be accepted and war prevented. England, they say, has prepared an armistice for the purpose and is supported by Sweden, Russia and France, and therefore there is a motive for having a European arbitrament, to which all these contentions must be submitted. The same sort of delusions have prevailed from the beginning, only to be disappointed by events, as to the interposition of Great powers to prevent hostilities, and the certainty of Danish concessions for the sake of forwarding such a settlement, and the readiness of Austria and Prussia to meet the views of other Powers in behalf of the integrity of the Danish monarchy, consistent with the due observance of the Federative obligations of Holstein towards Germany. ->

All these expectations failed, in spite of the most zealous efforts of Great Britain, by negotiation and remonstrance, to check the progress of these events. Denmark conceded everything that was possible, even to the promise to surrender the States General, so as to give the only constitutional consideration for an absolute compliance with every demand made upon her, and still the invaders were not satisfied–even with the guaranty which Great Britain offered for the good faith of Denmark and the compliance with all the conditions which might be agreed upon. The grounds of the refusal of these Powers to interrupt these movements for the dismemberment of Denmark, even upon the powerful representations from Great Britain, disclose among the reasons assigned one peculiar fact which makes the prospect of a quiet adjustment of these questions a very gloomy one, unless Denmark is stripped of both provinces. It is all but avowed that the popular excitement in Germany will not admit of delay or pause, and that the seizure of both Schleswig and Holstein are necessary for the preservation of peace within the German States among themselves. This is a very unfavorable state of mind among the forty millions of Germans to support the confidence that they will quietly see their wishes disregarded by the confirmation of Schleswig and Holstein again to the Danish monarchy, and on the other hand, it is scarcely to be expected that the international arrangements of Europe will be allowed to be overthrown in the destruction of the Danish monarchy by military force, without creating commotion and conflicts of which it would be rashness to prophecy a peaceful issue.


Gen. Wool on the War.—This veteran, who has been strangely shelved to make room for more inexperienced men, is urging a more vigorous prosecution of the war. He says:

“The war has lasted too long. It should not be permitted to last beyond he present year, and if the North, East and West will put forth their energies, it will cease in 1864. They have the means in men, money and supplies in abundance, and these should not be withheld to carry on the war. The Potomac Army should be increased to 200,000 men, with a stationary force for the defence of Washington of 50,000. Gen. Grant’s army for Chattanooga and Knoxville should be increased to at least 250,000. These armies rightly directed would soon end the war. The Army of the Potomac should proceed direct for Richmond, and not, as has been suggested, by way of James river or York river. With 200,000 men properly organized, skillfully arranged and directed, the rear and supplies could be guarded, Richmond taken, Washington protected and raids prevented upon Ohio, Maryland and Pennsylvania, and from interfering with the Ohio and Baltimore Railroad. If, however, the Potomac Army should be ordered by way of the James or York rivers to Richmond, Gen. Lee would no doubt march on Washington, Maryland or Pennsylvania, when we would have another panic and stampede at Washington, and the Army of the Potomac would be recalled to protect the capital, and consequently the war would be extended to 1865. This ought to be avoided if possible.”

MARCH 14, 1864

The Message of Governor Brown of Georgia.

The Georgia Legislature assembled on the 10th instant, and the message of Governor Brown was read.

The Governor recommends a vigorous State policy on the question of relief of soldiers’ families, cotton planting, illegal distillation, impressment of provisions, the removal of slaves and desertion from the army. The following is a synopsis of his remarks on general subjects:

The late action of Congress has shaken the confidence of the people in the justness or competency of our financial affairs. The compulsory funding of seven hundred millions in forty days at a less rate of interest than is pledged on the face of the notes resembles repudiation and bad faith.

The new Military Bill, he says, is unconstitutional. The conscription of citizens will not fill the army, but they will stay at home detailed, thus depriving the State of her active militia, and placing civil rights subordinate to military power.

The suspension of the habeas corpus, under a pretended necessity, confers upon the President powers denied by the Constitution. The power of Congress to suspend the habeas corpus is only implied, and is limited by the express declaration in favor of personal liberty. Congress cannot confer judicial powers upon the Executive, and the warrants to be issued by the President will be in plain violation of the Constitution. If this Act is acquiesced in, the President may imprison whom he chooses. It is only necessary to allege treasonable efforts, and no court will dare investigate the case. The Legislature is earnestly recommended to take prompt action to stamp the Act with the seal of indignant rebuke.

The Governor reviews the causes of war, and the question who is responsible and how peace should be sought. He occupies half his message in showing the unchristian character of the war. The Northern Democrats and moderate Republicans are exonerated from causing it. The responsibility rests exclusively on the wicked Republican leaders, who denied the compacts of the Constitution, and declared an anti-slavery bill and an anti-slavery God. These men obtained possession of the Federal Government, and the South was compelled in self-defense to sever the compact of sovereign States, which wicked men promise to restore by the paradox of force. Under this pretense, the habeas corpus has been trampled down, the ballot box overawed, armies to hold the North and subdue the South.

A change of administration at the North must come before we can have peace. The revolution defends the right of State sovereignty and self-government. We did not provoke the war, and amicable adjustments have been refused. Lincoln has declared Georgia and other States in rebellion against the Federal Government, which was the mere creature of the States, which they could destroy as well as create.

In authorizing the war, the North did not seek to restore the Union under the Constitution as it was, confining the Government to the sphere of its limited powers. They have taken one hundred thousand Negroes, which cost us half a million of whites, and four thousand millions of dollars, whilst they seek to repudiate self-government and subjugate the South, and confiscate our property.

The statement of Lincoln that we offer no terms of adjustment is made an artful pretext. It is impossible to say when the war will terminate, but negotiation, not the sword, will finally terminate it. He says we should keep it before the Northern people that we are ready to negotiate when they are ready to recognize the right to self-government and the sovereignty of the States. After each victory our Government should make a distinct offer of peace on these terms; and should the course of any State be doubted, let the armed force be withdrawn and the ballot box decide. Keep before the North and the world our ability to defend ourselves, which for many years has been proved. Should Lincoln boast of a numerical superiority, let him be reminded of the reply of the King of Israel to Benhadad: “Let not him that girdeth on his harness, boast himself as he that puteth it off.”

The Cotton Trade at Matamoras is represented as of growing importance. The large English houses in Liverpool and Manchester have now commenced to send their ships with supercargoes to Matamoras, where they discharge the cargo and await their cotton, which is brought in the following way: A clerk or supercargo leaves England two or three months before the ship, and goes on horseback to Eagle Pass and from there to San Antonio, Texas. In San Antonio or another place in Texas he buys the cotton, engages the mules and trains, and the cotton starts for Mexico; mule trains arrive commonly in 30 or 35 days. Cotton is between five and six cents per pound in Texas, but five per cent has to be paid as extra tax to the Confederate States Government. The Confederate Government supports the trade in every way, but no train is allowed to go on the road below Laredo, for fear it might fall in the hands of the Northern troops. With all expenses, a pound of cotton in Matamoras comes to twenty-one or twenty-five cents, but is worth in the place thirty-five. Since January, 1863, about eighty or eighty-five thousand bales of cotton have been shipped from here.

A pound of cotton sent to Liverpool, after being pressed, shipped, and every expense paid, will cost thirty-six to forty cents.


The New Prison Depot for Yankees.—From all accounts it would seem that Camp Sumter, on the Southwestern Railroad, in Georgia, is destined in point of magnitude to become the Camp Chase of the Confederacy. A correspondent of the Macon Telegraph says of it:

In returning from Americus yesterday, I stopped for a short time to examine the camp, and was kindly shown around by the officers. The enclosure is a parallelogram of eighteen acres, through the centre of which runs a clear, beautiful stream, with gently sloping hills on either side. The stockade is composed of hewn pine logs, 21 feet long, with 6 feet in the ground. They are very closely set together, as well as strongly set in the trenches. A large bakery has been erected just outside the stockade. It is made of brick and capable of making, at one time, near two thousand pounds of bread.

The stockade is not completed. Capt. Winder, under whose efficient management the work was begun and thus far finished, tells me it would have been completed two weeks since, but for the impossibility of procuring Negro labor. A sentinel walk is to be placed around near the top of the stockade. The encampment for officers and men is on the hill near the south end of the enclosure.

Capt. Winder, late of Richmond, planned and carried into execution the work, and deserves the thanks of the country for the skill and energy displayed. The grounds have been enlarged from the original design, and will accommodate twelve thousand prisoners. There are to be two regiments stationed there to guard them. Col. A. W. Parsons is at present in command of our troops. There are four hundred prisoners at the camp. In company with some of the officers, we walked among them, and conversed with some. As a general thing, they looked haggard, and their physical habiliments were decidedly of the “earth earthy.”1


Responsibility of the Olustee Disaster.

The correspondent of the N. Y. Times at Jacksonville, Fla., writes on the 9th that there is no longer any doubt that Gen. Seymour’s loss at Olustee was caused by his negligence in not having out flankers on the march. “That is the only substantial blunder he did commit, and it is the only act for which he deserves blame. The fact of his transcending order might be considered a just cause for his arrest, had not numerous instances of a similar nature occurred and been passed over without remark. But on account of his not succeeding, his going beyond the limits of his instructions will of course weigh heavily in the balance against him. Gen. Seymour does not hesitate to take upon himself the responsibility of his entire proceedings so far as they regard the battle of Olustee. It is well known that Gen. Gilmore gave instructions that the army should settle for a while at Baldwin and Barber’s. In the belief that all was going on prosperously, Gen. Gilmore returned to Hilton Head, and judge of his surprise to receive a dispatch from Gen. Seymour, on the morning of the 18th ult., stating his intention to advance toward Lake City. That same day Gen. Gilmore sent his chief-of-staff, Gen. Turner, by a special boat to Jacksonville, with instructions to prevent the advance movement, but the fearful gale that was blowing at the time kept the vessel from crossing St. John’s bar, consequently Gen. Turner did not arrive at Jacksonville until Saturday night, at about the hour the army commenced falling back from Olustee.

“The rebels are driving the cattle from Florida as rapidly as possible. All the rebels care about is to hold the state sufficiently long to get the cattle away, when they will vacate and we may occupy it with welcome.”


The War in Schleswig-Holstein.
Denmark Still Confident.

The steamship Jura from Liverpool, 3d, via Londonderry, 4th, arrived at Portland Monday evening. Her dates are five days later.

There had been no additional fighting in Schleswig. Gen. Garlack had succeeded Demesia as commander-in-chief of the Danish army. The king of Denmark had spoken strongly for a vigorous perseverance in his policy. The Danish journals are opposed to a conference on the basis proposed, and the movement has apparently made no progress. The allies made a close reconnoissance towards Duppel on the 2d. The Danes had burned down all the farm-houses on the line of their outposts. A cavalry skirmish took place on the 29th ult. near Frederick. The Danes captured thirty hussars. Gen. Demesia had expressed the belief that Duppel cannot be taken before the end of May or the beginning of June, even under the most favorable circumstances. The Danes and the Berlin and Vienna journals continue to ridicule the notion of a conference. The Danish minister of foreign affairs, Mr. Quade, had resigned, as he was disposed to a congress, in which he was opposed by his colleagues.

The London Morning Post discerns that Russia and Prussia, relying on the fancied separation of England and France, have bound themselves together for the extermination of what they call revolution, and for the permanent erection of despotism in Europe. ->

M. von Bismarck has been known to assert that Germany would never be on good terms with Denmark, so long as the present democratic institutions of Denmark are maintained. The Post promises that England will renew again, in a just cause, the French alliance, and says: “With our gallant neighbors and the Italians and Scandinavians, and with the poles, Hungarians and Turks, it will be indeed amazing if we do not make short work of this new holy alliance.”

Italy is reported to have tendered 40,000 men and a fleet to England if she assists Denmark.

The Swedish government has granted permission to Swedish officers to serve with the Danes.

Treasonable societies and insurrectionary movements have been discovered in the Austrian province of Galicia. A state of siege had been proclaimed, and all persons were ordered to deliver up their arms.

Austrian forces in Venetia had been raised to 180,000, and placed on a war footing, the emperor assuming command.

American Matters.

An auxiliary department to the United States sanitary commission had been organized at London.

Mr. Mason, the confederate envoy, had returned to London from Paris. His return was supposed to have some connection with the alleged recognition negotiations. Mr. Lawley, ex-correspondent of the London Times at Richmond, is constantly passing between London and Paris, probably on the same subject.

The correspondence relative to the bark Saxon is published. The British government maintains that if the facts deposed to are true, the federal officer was guilty of the murder of the mate of the Saxon. They demand his trial, with compensation to the widow of the murdered man and to the owners for the loss sustained by the capture of the vessel.

The federal steamer Kearsarge remained off Boulogne, supposed to be watching for the Rappahannock, which was ready for sea at Calais.

The London Times in an editorial on Gen. Banks’ general order at New Orleans relative to Negro labor, &c., says: “It is the establishment of serfdom, or the retention of slavery without the name, and the design is to secure the votes of employees for Mr. Lincoln.”

General News.

The Archduke Maximilian’s visit to Paris had been further postponed. The alleged cause was influenza, but it is rumored there is a hitch as to his having command of French troops in Mexico. The Paris Moniteur declares that the rumor to the effect that the Archduke Maximilian had renounced his intention of going to Mexico was entirely unfounded.

MARCH 16, 1864


Cotton in England.

If this war continues much longer, the boast of the South that their cotton is King will be taken from them. The proofs are fast accumulating that cotton cultivation is gradually increasing in various parts of the world outside of the Southern States. At a late meeting in Manchester, letters were read from several of the West India Islands, where cotton culture is progressing, and favorable accounts were received from the Argentine Republic, from Spain and other places. Among the facts elicited was a statement from New York to the effect that there existed an active demand for cotton gins, and that they had been sent in large numbers to South America, West Indies, Egypt, and other places. The Manchester meeting was of the opinion [the] cotton monopoly of the Southern States would be checked by the movements made elsewhere in cotton culture. If so, there is more reason for the speedy suppression of the rebellion, that the cotton traffic of the world may still be retained by the Union.


Kilpatrick’s Raid.

Notwithstanding the copperheads' proclaim Kilpatrick’s raid a failure it is not so regarded at the South. The Richmond journals betray the terror which the raid excited, and admit the injury it inflicted. The falsehoods which they publish and threats of revenge upon the prisoners are evidences still more substantial. They demand that our men shall not be treated as prisoners of war, and some even insist that they must be blown to pieces from the mouths of cannon. Such is but the punishment of men who have failed, and is only counseled by men who feel their cause to be desperate, and become cruel as they grow weak. The treatment which the body of Col. Dahlgren received outstrips savage barbarity. It was not only mutilated but thrown into a ditch after it had lain for an entire day exposed to the insults of the Richmond mob.

Gen, Kilpatrick not only severely punished the enemy by the destruction of railroads and stores, but nearly succeeded in a greater purpose. For seven days no public business was done in Richmond. All the departments were closed, and all the men employed by the rebel government were forced into the ranks for its defence. For many months we have not had such a revelation of terror and helpless fury of the conspirators.


The Pirates.

One of the greatest evils which the American people have had to suffer since the war began has been the depredations committed upon our vessels by the rebel pirates. Thus far they have pursued their destructive and evil work without meeting their just deserts. Their course has been smooth, and many of our vessels have fallen into their hands. Every evil, however, has its day, and the Yankees believe that the pirates will soon find the end of their rope. That they find many persons in the different latitudes who show them favors, aiding by giving information of the movements of our vessels, is true; yet the majority of the people, together with the national tone of the countries is decidedly against them. Our government is using every exertion to rid the seas of these rovers. Vessel after vessel is being sent in pursuit, and it is reasonable to suppose that they will meet the pirates. This will be one thing accomplished, and the main step towards their final destruction.

War News.

The President, Wednesday afternoon, presented Major General Grant with his commission as Lieutenant General.

The ceremony took place in the cabinet chamber, in the presence of the entire cabinet and other distinguished officers. The President addressed Gen. Grant thus:

General Grant: The nation’s appreciation of what you have done, and its reliance upon you for what remains to be done in the existing struggle, has now presented this commission, constituting you Lieutenant General of the Army of the United States. With this high honor, devolves upon you also a corresponding responsibility. As the country herein trusts you, so under God it will sustain you. I scarcely need to add, that with what I here speak for the nation, goes my own hearty personal concurrence.”

To which General Grant replied:

Mr. President: I accept this commission with gratitude for the high honor conferred. With the aid of the noble armies that have fought on so many fields of our country, it will be my earnest endeavor not to disappoint your expectations. I feel the full weight of the responsibilities now devolving upon me, and I know that if they are met it will be due to those armies, and above all to the favor of that Providence which leads both nations and men.”

The President then introduced the General to all the members of the Cabinet, after which the company was seated and about a half an hour was spent in social conversation.


A Humbug.

The greatest humbug of the times, on which the copperhead press is clamorous, is that peace can be made with the rebels, and the Union at the same time maintained. The copperheads in this State aver that the defeat of Wm. A. Buckingham and the election of their candidate, Origen S. Seymour, will contribute towards such a result. Such doctrine as this is entirely at variance with the doctrines of the south, and is intended only to create capital out of a natural impatience at a prolonged war, and to take advantage of any uneasiness which may be felt under the enormous costs which this conflict imposes.

Let it be distinctly understood that peace at the present time means disunion. It can be obtained now only at the dismemberment of the Government, at the dissolution of the union and the destruction of our nationality. Suppose we at the north offer the olive branch and signify our readiness to lay down our arms, and conclude a treaty of peace. Upon what terms are the rebels willing to stop the conflict? Would they ask anything less than that demanded at first? The same peace which might have been obtained in 1861 can be had in 1864. On the same terms the rebels will agree to lay down their arms, and on no other terms have they signified their willingness to do so. Are the freemen of Connecticut prepared to consent to peace at the price demanded by the south?

These facts are important. The copperheads know that the people of this State are loyal, and abhor dissolution. They dare not openly propose that the Government be broken up and the Union destroyed, so they insidiously call for peace, describe the horrors of war, and deprecate taxation. Freemen of Connecticut, let us have an honorable peace. When we have overthrown this rebellion, root and branch, and caused the authority of the Government to be acknowledged in every State and Territory, then we can rejoice in the blessings of peace with the Union established forever!


Colonel Dahlgren’s Orders.

The following is an extract from a lady in Washington, dated March 12, 1864:

“Was ever anything so dreadful as poor Ulric Dahlgren’s fate? H-- saw his servant today, who escaped when his master was shot, and hid himself in a ditch where he saw it all. He says they stripped the body, cutting off the little finger for the ring, and carrying off his artificial leg, which was one of Palmer’s most beautiful and expensive inventions. When they left, the Negro servant came out of the ditch, and dragged his master’s body some distance, hoping to hide it and bury it, but another party appearing, he had to hide again. The second party pitched his body over a fence, and digging shallow trench, thrust it in naked, and stamped the earth down.

“The next day they returned and put the body of the poor box in a box, and carried it off to Richmond. The Negro was rescued by a friendly black, after spending 21 hours in the wet ditch. H-- asked the servant whether Dahlgren really delivered to his men the atrocious address which the Richmond papers ascribe to him, and he said heard him say nothing of the kind! H-- saw the Richmond paper describing how he lay exposed at the depot, for crowds to gaze and jeer at, and was then buried ‘in a hole like a dog, a fit burial for such a wretch.’ And this was the end of as gallant a young soldier as ever lived, who at 21 had lost a leg in his country’s service. It seems a small revenge!

“At the battle on Roanoke Island, Governor Wise’s son Jennings was shot while leading the Confederate troops, and mortally wounded. He was laid in the tent of one of General Burnside’s staff. He did not know he must die, and sent to ask Burnside if he would let him go on parole. The general sent him word, that when he was able, he should go on parole. He died in four hours with one of our officers and an English officer with him, who gave him water, and did what little could be done to alleviate his sufferings. When, two days after, the Governor sent for Jennings’s body, it was given him. Rather a contrast in the two stories. I can’t rejoice enough that poor Ully was shot dead in his saddle. If he had lived to suffer in the power of such fiends, it would have been fearful. I have known him from a child, and a finer fellow never lived.”

In addition to the negative evidence given above, tending to show the falsity of the presence that the papers printed by the Richmond press as Colonel Dahlgren’s are genuine, we may call attention to the assertion of Captain E. A. Paul, a correspondent of the New York Times, who accompanied Kilpatrick, that he read Captain Dahlgren’s memoranda on the day when the latter set out on his expedition, and that they then contained no such words as the rebels pretend to have found in them. As the alleged orders were, moreover, not at all in character with the gallant young officer, hardly a doubt remains but that the rebels at Richmond have perpetrated in this matter an infamous fraud, that they might sustain their cause by an appeal to popular indignation and fear.

The Quotas Under the New Levy.–The Provost Marshal-General of the United States has given official information that the quotas under the new call for 200,000 men will be subject to the proper allowances for excesses and deficiencies under the call for 50,000.

This is, of course, the just method of settlement and is the arrangement which was to be reasonably expected. But it is unfortunate that it was not distinctly announced weeks ago. The opinions of public officers on the question whether credits would be allowed on the new call, or whether a clean balance would be struck at the close of the levy of 500,000, so as to start afresh, varied so materially that some recruiting agents abandoned the idea of doing more than completing their quotas of the 500,000. We know of this occurring, where recruiting had become tolerably brisk, and where men might have been obtained in anticipation of the present call, had it only been certain that credit would be given for any excess.


The Exchange of Prisoners.–The reports from Washington as to the prisoners are conflicting, but it appears probable upon the whole that General Butler’s last arrangement has been rejected, and that exchanges are not to proceed on that basis.

The plan, as we understand it was that exchanges should be made man for man, the surplus, which is in our favor, being paroled. The rebels being suspicious required that the surplus should be delivered pari passu with the exchange–that is, if 300 prisoners came down from Richmond for exchange, 300 and a due proportion of the surplus should be sent up from Old Point.2 This made the number to be returned about 400 for every 300 from Richmond.

This arrangement was doubtless a sharp one on the side of the rebels, but General Butler’s reputation for keenness is such that the government could very well have afforded to make him its plenipotentiary in such a matter.


The London Morning Post says: “Captain Semmes goes about on the high seas in the Alabama burning American ships, reducing their captains, crews, and passengers to destitution, and turning them adrift in distant ports upon the charity of the world. All this is done, let it be marked, without daring any of those perils which even the most ordinary robber has to encounter. Captain Semmes preys upon the weak; the strong he gives the slip to. There are none of the elements of the hero in such a character or such a career as his.”

18, 1864

Dr. Howe’s Report of the Colored Refugees in Canada.

Dr. S. G. Howe of Boston has published a report on the condition of the fugitive slaves in Canada West, giving the results of a series of investigations undertaken at the request of the United States Freedmen’s Inquiry Commission. The report, which forms a pamphlet of one hundred and ten pages, is addressed to Messrs. Robert Dale Owen and James McKaye, through whom it is laid before the Secretary of War. Beginning with a general view of the condition of the freedmen who have found shelter in Canada, Dr. Howe proceeds to show that they are an honest, industrious and useful class in society, and that their history solves affirmatively the problem whether the black man is or is not capable of taking care of himself in a state of freedom.3

There are twenty thousand of these refugees in Canada of all colors, from the deep black of the pure African (who runs from his “master” without the slightest regard to the rights of property,) to the white slave (who runs because he is white, getting off the easier on account of his paleness, which enables him “to pass himself off as a white man,” as the advertisements in the Southern papers used to phrase it in the days when compromise was talked of in Congress and there was yet no war.) All these shades of color combine to form orderly and industrious communities in Canada. They are living in the large towns of St. Catherine’s, Hamilton, London, Toronto, Chatham, Buxton, Windsor, Malden, Colchester, and are scattered through the villages and upon farms, which latter they assiduously till. The best estimates show that between 30,000 and 40,000 escaped slaves have from first to last found refuge in Canada, but the present number is reckoned at about 20,000. It is amusing to think how the Canadian census-takers must have been deceived by the light color of some of these people, whom they counted as “whites;” whereas any Southern gentleman, had he been appealed to, could at once have settled the question by looking at the pink finger nails of the runaway octoroons. Nevertheless, approximately, there are 20,000 runaways from the blessings of bondage, and of the present condition of these freed men and women Dr. Howe made a searching and judicious observation.

For many years the refugees were mostly men; the women could not so easily escape. Once safe beyond pursuit, the runaway settled himself into a convenient place and went to work, and, according to the record, worked diligently. His next step was to establish a home. For want of a woman of his own race to marry, he intermarried with a white; and Dr. Howe reports that these marriages “were mostly with Irish or other foreign women.” Dr. Litchfield, medical superintendent of one of the public institutions of Canada, says: “It is not uncommon here for a colored tradesman to marry a white woman;” and he enumerates ten or twelve Irish domestics in one town who thus espoused the black men. Within the last 20 or 30 years, however, very many of the refugees have contrived to redeem their wives or sweethearts from bondage, working late and early with undiminished zeal to pay the price of human flesh demanded by the regulations of Southern life. Slave women, too, heard about Canada, and learned the way. Other colored women emigrated from the Northern and Western States, so that the numerical disparity between the sexes began to lessen and continues to do so. This tends to check amalgamation.

The material condition of the freedmen is just now a subject of anxious study with philanthropists. In Canada, it is to be remembered, the Negro’s tropical blood is compelled to endure a rigorous climate, his whole race is forced to combat the prejudice against Negroes, to struggle for the educational privileges of the public schools, and to begin life independently after many years of servitude. No Freedmen’s Aid Societies, free schools, free lands or government help have assisted the struggles of these people. Yet, notwithstanding the obstacles they have been compelled to encounter, we now learn officially that no “sensible persons in Canada charge the refugees with slothfulness;” they “do not beg, and receive no more than their share of public support, if even so much;” there is “positive and tangible proof of their will and ability to work and support themselves, and gather substance even in the hard climate of Canada.” We quote these emphatic phrases from Dr. Howe’s report.

In the town of London there are seventy-five colored families who pay taxes. In St. Catherine’s (says a Canadian, Col. Stephenson,) the “Negroes have furniture when the Irish have none.” In Hamilton, says Dr. Ridley, the colored patients of the physicians are all able to pay a moderate fee. In Malden, seventy-one tax-payers out of five hundred and fifty are colored. In Toronto, with a colored population of nine hundred out of a total of forty-five thousand, the blacks pay yearly between two and three thousand dollars for taxes.

The moral and social condition of the Negro colonists, living outside of the towns, is dwelt upon by Dr. Howe, and his verdict is favorable; but we have space only for the following extracts from the general inferences with which he concludes his report:

“That the Negroes of the South are capable of self-guidance and support without other protection than will be needed by poor whites, and that they will be loyal supporters of any government which insures their freedom and rights.

“That when living in communities with whites, in not greater proportion than one thousand to fifteen or twenty thousand, antagonism of race will hardly be developed, but the Negroes will imitate the best features of white civilization and will improve rapidly.

“That it is not desirable to have them live in communities by themselves.

“That they will not be idle, but industrious and thrifty, and that there will be less pauperism among them than is usual among our foreign immigrants.

“That by their industry and thrift they will forward the individual interests of the country, without the fearful demoralization heretofore caused by their oppression and debasement.”

The elaborate statistical and general information given in this report merits a careful study, and Dr. Howe’s deductions throw much light upon a vexed question.

MARCH 19, 1864


Farragut’s Operations Against Mobile.

We are permitted to make the following extracts from a letter from an officer in Farragut’s fleet, off Mobile, to a friend in this city, dated:

U.S. Steamer Octarora, off Grant’s Pass,
Mississippi Sound,
Feb. 20.

Well, operations against Mobile have fairly commenced, and the Octarora is the flag of a squadron of bomb-schooners and four gunboats–among them the J. P. Jackson and Calhoun. We got the “Bombs” into position a few days ago, and early in the morning a shot from our one hundred pounder Parrott rifle was sent into Fort Powell, together with our compliments, followed by some thirteen-inch shells. The fort replied promptly, but we were out of their range; indeed, the bomb schooners were too far off to do any very accurate firing. The Jackson moored herself within about three miles of the fort, and with an eighty pound Sawyer rifle placed every shot fairly in the fort. One of the mortars tore a large hole in one corner of the fort, and some deserters that came down to us say, “that a lieutenant, sergeant ad a private were seriously wounded.” In the afternoon, the Jackson split her rifle gun, and the wind commencing blowing from the north, we withdrew from the engagement, fearing that we should get aground–as the wind from the “nor’ard” blows the water out of the Sound. “Grant’s Pass” is one of the west entrances to Mobile Bay; Fort Powell, a strong earthwork, commands the Pass, mounting seven guns. To-morrow Admiral Farragut is to visit us, and probably another attack will be made.

Deserters are continually to us. They state that the Tennessee, a formidable rebel ram, drawing fourteen feet of water, four hundred feet long, with the engines of the old steamer Natchez, (the largest high pressure engine ever known, being thirty-eight inch cylinders and ten feet stroke,) has been lightered over Dog River bar.4 She carries a battery of six guns, can steam ten knots an hour, and has six inches of iron plating. She is commanded by Buchanan, formerly of our navy, and is undoubtedly a formidable vessel. I have just been looking at her with a glass, at a distance of six miles. She is a formidable looking thing, long and low, with a short huge smoke stack, which is painted white. She appeared to be testing her steaming qualities, and moved very fast. Well, they have something to butt when they run afoul of Admiral Farragut!


Washington News and Gossip.

Exchange of Prisoners.

The friends of the Union prisoners in the South will be gratified to learn that arrangements have been effected by which regular exchanges of prisoners will be made hereafter. The government has gracefully receded from its determination to force Gen. Butler upon the Confederates as the only agent of exchange, and have delegated that authority to Major Mulford, whose association with Mr. Ould, the rebel commissioner, have heretofore been pleasant as well as dignified. The first exchange under the new regulation has already taken place.

Supercedure of Gen. Meade.

Gen. Wm. Smith, late of the Army of the Cumberland, and formerly of the Army of the Potomac, reached here to-day. The fact has given rise to a renewal of the reports prevalent several weeks since. It is claimed that Gen. Grant urges him for the head of the Army of the Potomac.->

Gen. Warren was to-day before the Committee on the Conduct of the War, and exclaimed at some length in regard to the battle at Gettysburg. He gave a full and explicit statement of that affair, and is understood to have vindicated the conduct of Gen. Meade. The testimony thus far is very conflicting, and shows a most unhealthy state of feeling existing among the officers who participated in that battle.

Gen. Sickles is working industriously to displace Gen. Meade from the command of the Army of the Potomac. The absence of a leg is not deemed by his friends sufficient to incapacitate him for military operations, though of course he cannot dance so nimbly as heretofore. Mrs. Lincoln’s earnest advocacy of Gen. Sickles for the succession of Gen. Meade makes him a candidate not to be sneezed at, but it is hardly probable that he will more than succeed in displacing Gen. Meade.


A Little of Everything.

In Cincinnati, the other day, a wealthy Quaker refused to give any money to aid the war, but said there was a loose $100 note at his office, which the committee might find.

The Richmond Examiner of the 8th, says that the first detachment of colored federal soldiers, captured near Williamsburg, had “reached Libby prison, and were put in the cells with white prisoners.”

The number of immigrants that landed in New York in 1863 was 157,844, being 80,538 more than in the previous year, and 91,315 more than in 1861. There came from Ireland 92,157; from Germany 36,002; from England 18,757; from other countries 10,928.

In reply to a complaining correspondent, the Memphis Bulletin says: “A soldier should not be too captious with his spiritual adviser. If he neither drinks to excess, gambles, deals in cotton, nor finds horses that are not lost, he is above reproach for a chaplain.”

All the bands in New York refused to play at the presentation of a flag to a Negro regiment, and the managers of the affair were obliged to send to Governor’s Island and obtain a Government band. Dr. Tying made a speech at Cooper Institute Tuesday evening, in which he denounces the bands as “a set of low-born driveling foreigners.”

The Wilmington Journal of the 2d says that on Monday night last a boat load of Yankees from one of the blockading vessels slipped in over the main bar, past the forts and up to Smithville, from which place they carried off Captain Kelley, of Gen. Hebert’s staff, and also a Negro man. Captain Kelley was Gen. Hebert’s Chief Engineer.5

“Hobson’s choice” is a very common expression, implying “that one has no choice” or that he must “take this or none.” The origin of the expression will interest our readers. Tobias Hobson kept the first livery stable in England, near Cambridge University. He had forty horses for hire, some of them very fine, but he made it an invariable rule that every successive customer should take the horse standing nearest the door or none. He so arranged the animals that each horse should come in order for a share of the work.6


1 This is the infamous Andersonville prison camp, which, by August, would hold 33,000 Union prisoners–almost triple the capacity stated in this article. Of the 45,000 men who would be sent to the camp, 13,000 died–almost one-third. Capt. Henry Wirz, the prison’s commandant, was the only person executed for war crimes during the Slaveholders’ Rebellion. (Source).

2 pari passu is Latin for “in equal step” or “on equal footing;” used here to mean “hand-in-hand.”

3 Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe’s full report is available in Google Books.

4 While indeed drawing fourteen feet of water, the Tennessee was actually 209 feet in length, and 48 feet abeam.

5 This is the famous raid by Lt. William B. Cushing of the U. S. Navy–one of several which made him the Yankee “boogeyman” of the Cape fear River. Cushing had planned to capture General Hebert himself, but, finding he had elected to spend the night in Wilmington, took Captain Kelley in his place. A note sent to Hebert the following day by Cushing expressed the latter’s regrets that he had not found him home, and promised to call again in future. (Source). See the Newport Mercury article “A Bold and Successful Enterprise,” of 26 March 1864 for a fuller account.

6 The phrase is attested as early as 1660. (Source).

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