« PreviousContinue »
LANOASTER'S ENGLISH LOGIC.
One would think that a proper sense of “honor "would prompt a man to give the poor fellows, 'at least, the 'choice of being rescued, or of drowning. We are quite sure the spent swimmers did not take his view of the case, as they cried for help, and struck out toward the boats. His logic, however, is more peculiar than his “notions of honor," or his veracity. He says that Captain Winslow accompanied his request to help save the sinking crew, "with no stipulation to the effect that I should deliver up the rescued men to him as prisoners.” That is to say, because Captain Winslow did not wait to draw up a contract that he should deliver into his hands men that had already given themselves up as prisoners of war, there was no obligation resting on him to do so. To see the full beauty of this logic, let us suppose it had been property, not prisoners of war, floating on the sea; and Captain Winslow had requested the Commander of the yacht to assist him in saving it. By Mr. Lancaster's code of morals, after he had loaded his vessel down with a choice assortment, he would have steered away for Southampton with his spoils, and when called to account for them, have replied that Captain Winslow made "no stipulation with me to deliver up his goods." His high notions of honor would have compelled him to keep them-in other words, turn thief because “no stipulation ” was made that he should not be one.
After clearing himself, as he supposes, from all blame, by this extraordinary defense, he says, that "the hero's (Captain Winslow's) forbearance,” for not bringing him to, with a shot, when making off with the prisoners, may be “imagined in the reflection that such a performance as that of Captain Wilkes, who dragged two 'enemies,' or 'rebels,' from an English ship, would not bear repetition.” Our fear, on the contrary, is, that such conduct, on the part of a member of "The Royal Yacht Squadron," will not “bear repe
EXCITEMENT IN EUROPE.
This novel engagement, in which such heavy metal was thrown, caused much excitement in Europe. That the Kearsarge, without ever cuming nearer than a quarter of a mile of her antagonist--a vessel' of war heavier, even, than her: self-should sink her in one hour, was a warning to the English Admiralty which, it was urged, they had better not disregard. There was not an eleven-inch gun in the English navy, yet the Kearsarge had two of these, throwing metal of two hundred pounds weight. Said one writer in the English press :
“When the Kearsarge was recently at Cork, the Commander of her Majesty's ship, Hawke, was instructed by the Admiralty to report as to the construction and fitting up of the American cruiser, and more particularly as to her armament. He replied that the Kearsarge had no more effective. guns than the ordinary sixty-eight pounder of the British navy. The Kearsarge is fitted up with a special contrivance for raising and lowering her great guns, so that they may be mounted on deck, or kept snugly below, as occasion requires.
“It is a curious speculation whether, when the Comman: der of the Hawke visited the vessel, a smart · Yankee trick' was played upon him by this contrivance, or whether he made an actual blunder as to the armament."
Captain Winslow paroled his prisoners, which brought on him the condemnation of the Navy Department. In one letter to him, Mr. Welles says that it is reported, in the Eng. lish papers, that he “has paroled the foreign pirates captured in the Alabama," and adds, “I trust you have not committed this error of judgment.” In another, he says, “in paroling the prisoners, however, you have committed a
This is a fair specimen of the wise blunders constantly committed by our Navy Department; the head of which
LETTER OF CAPTAIN WINSLOW.
changes with every Administration, and who receives his appointment without reference to his knowledge of naval matters, but solely on political grounds. A serious war with one of the great maritime nations of Europe, will work a change, we apprehend, in this respect, and give us, at least, something in the Navy to correspond with Lieutenant-General in the Army.
The following reply of Captain Winslow, exhibits the vast difference between theoretical and practical knowledge:-
“I beg the Department will consider the circumstances in which this vessel was placed at the termination of the action with the Alabama. The berth-deck, contracted as it is, with insufficient storage for our own men, was covered with bedding of the wounded, the quarter-deck was similarly crowded, and the forward part of the ship, on the spar-deck, was filled with prisoners under guard.
"The ship was damaged both in rigging and hull. A shot had entered the stern-post, raising the transom-frame, and binding the rudder so hard as to require four men at the helm. It was, therefore, important that an examination should be made of the damages sustained. On our arrival at Cherbourg, I received information from our Consul at London, that the Florida was in the Channel, on the French coast, and, at the same time, information came that the Yeddo was out, and the Rappahannock was expected to follow; and, in addition to this, that the St. Louis had sailed for Madeira.
"The Kearsarge had been acting alone and independently for the last nine months, and I was not aware that any of our cruisers had been ordered in the Channel. It became, therefore, in my mind, of the utmost importance that the Kearsarge should at once be put in a state to meet these vessels, and protect our commerce. This could not be done with prisoners on board equaling the half of our crew, and
the room occupied by the wounded taken to the exclusion of our own men; to have kept them would have required a quarter-watch as guards, and the ship would have been wholly ineffective, as a man-of-war, to meet this emergency which threatened.
“Under these circumstances, and without an American vessel in port by which any arrangement could be made for transhipping the prisoners outside, I felt it my duty to parole them.”
MR. CHASE'S RESIGNATION-WANT OF A FINANCIAL SYSTEM LOW STATE OF
PUBLIC CREDIT WHEN HE ENTERED ON THE DUTIES OF HIS OFFICE-ESTIMATE OF EXPENDITURES FOR 1862-ISSUES OF FIVE-TWENTY BONDS AND
TREASURY NOTES-FIRST LOAN MADE IN NEW YORK-LOAN TAKEN BY THE
BANKS OF PHILADELPHIA, NEW YORK AND BOSTON-SALE OF BONDS, &C.CUSTOMS TO BE PAID IN GOLD-SUSPENSION OF THE BANKS-STATEMENT OF
REVENUE AND EXPENDITURES-PUBLIC DEBT AT THE CLOSE OF THE YEAR OPENING OF THE YEAR 1863-AN EXCISE LAW RESOLVED UPON-RAISING
OF MONEY IN THE MEANTIME-ISSUE OF PAPER MONEY-NATIONAL BANKING
LAWITS EFFECT IN NEW YORK-GOLD BILL-STATEMENT OF REVENUE AND
EXPENDITURE FOR THE YEAR-PUBLIC DEBT-MR. FESSENDEN SUCCEEDS MR. CHASE_CONDITION OF THE TREASURY AND MEANS AT ITS DISPOSAL-PUBLIO DBBT WHEN HE RESIGNED IN MARCH, 1865.
OUTLINE OF OUR FINANCIAL HISTORY DURING THE WAR.
HE first day of the month of July, 1864, was signalized
by an event in the political field, that caused almost as much sensation as the news of the proposed invasion of the rebels. This was the announcement of the resignation of Mr. Chase, as Secretary of the Treasury
In a war of the magnitude of the one in which we were engaged, the question of finance was really the vital one; for all knew that money would give out before men would, Mr. Chase had never perfected and carried out any financial system whatever; his system had been one of expedients, based on the assumption that the war was always just on the eve of closing, and that it was only necessary to raise money on the public credit to meet a present emergency. In short, the Government appeared, in the eyes of the world, very