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SPIRIT OF VIOLENCE IN THE SOUTH. EVIDENCES OF DEMORALIZED MORAL SENTIMENT. THE REPUDIATED DEBTS, AND VIOLENCE TOWARDS CREDITORS. THE RICHMOND "WHIG's" CONFESSION. A BRUTAL ALABAMA SENTIMENT. NUMEROUS CASES OF OUTRAGE AND PERSECUTION OF "SUSPECTED" PERSONS. THE RESULTS то CIVILIZATION OF THAT REIGN 07
The Secret Enginery of the Rebellion.
THE Southern States, less from inanition. A thousand devices from the first stages of were conceived to accomplish the desired their rebellion against the end; and the secret history of the insurrecFederal Government, put forward, as a justi- tion, if it ever shall be divulged, will be fication, the oppressions of that central power, found rich in intrigue, profuse in duplicity, and cited the Declaration of Independence mighty in falsehood—all directed to the one as their defence. The parallel was indig- purpose of "firing the Southern heart." nantly denied by Northern men, as these pages will testify-in Congress and out of it, an overwhelming sentiment pronounced the rebellion "causeless, wicked, and unnatural," with "no justification in the law of the country, nor in the higher law of self-protection." | From this very denial sprung the passions and impulses necessary to feed the fires of discord; and watchful "guardians of Southern interests" were not slow to fan the flames to a point of lawlessness necessary to "precipitate" States into the vortex of insurrection. Success in the secession movement depended solely on the ability of the leaders to fire the popular passions to the point of hate of the North and defiance of its association. Without a complete success in that direction, the revolution would become nerve
We have casually adverted to the animosity shown, in certain sections, towards Northern persons and interests, and promised a chapter of incidents to illustrate the spirit engendered by the revolutionists, by which to plunge the populace into their wild schemes. The fitting place for such a chapter is the close of this volume, which is rather a record of the preliminary condition of the revolution, than of the results which followed upon its full development, after the inauguration of Mr. Lincoln.
The repudiation of debts due to Northern merchants and manufacturers became one of the earliest and most exciting facts of the Southern movement. It argued a demoralized sentiment of probity, which equally alarmed and angered the Northern people.
ADVICE TO SOUTHERN
Visitations on Northern Creditors.
The spirit of anger was fast culminating, not in a national, or even sectional resentment, but in a species of inhuman personal malice which served to ally that revolution to the Sepoy drama.
The Southern merchants | possessions. To meet these refugees in Northhad, in exception to all ern cities became of such frequent occurcommercial usage, obtained rence, in February and March, that the pubcredits to an extraordinary amount, upon lic almost tired of their uniform stories of extraordinary time. A customer had but to injuries received and sufferings endured. say, "I am from the Cotton States," in order to obtain almost any credit desired. That secret and powerful inquisition, the Commercial Agency," was scarcely consulted as to the Southerner's personal standing and commercial responsibility-so eager was the deluded merchant to secure a "Southern trade." The wretched list of failures in the winter and spring of 1861 ever will remain as a monument of Northern commercial temerity, in the matter of Southern credits.
The spirit which found an excuse for allowing paper to go to protest, and followed the protest with a note expressing satisfaction at the refusal to pay, soon betrayed itself in a passage of "stay" laws, in the Seceded States, and in the visitations of violence upon all agents of Northern business firms who sought out the recreant debtor in hopes of obtaining some satisfaction for the overdue claim. Lawyers banded together not to receive Northern claims for collection, while the people banded together to drive away any unlucky wight who proposed to do what the lawyers refused to collect his own accounts. The agents, however, soon "made themselves scarce," as the vulgar, but significant, announcements in the papers recorded. and feathers, and an escort of a "committee of citizens" to the nearest railway station, were such inevitable results as served to rid an "indignant community" of all "Northern vagabonds" early iu the year (1860.)
These occasional perse
The Early Symptoms cutions of collectors and of Violence. agents seemed to engend
The Richmond Whig (March 15th) said:
It is a melancholy fact that a larger amount of mob violence has been developed in Virginia, since the Secession movement began, than in the whole previous lifetime of the State. There has been manifested an intolerance of spirit never before known; and, what is more, such intolerance is evidently on the increase, and bodes no good to law and order, and to the peace and prosperity of the citizens of the State, and if not checked and repressed, and that without delay, it will lead to riot, revolution, and fraternal bloodshed."
This is simply confirmatory of our statement hitherto made (see page 419) of the fearful spread of the spirit of violence throughout the Cotton States, where almost every youth sported his pistol and rapier, and shared the space in his mouth equally between oaths and tobacco. It was one of the first fruits of insurrection. Lawlessness towards government soon begat lawlessness towards society-the dragon's teeth grew with fearful fecundity. The demoralization betrayed itself even in the changed tone of the secession portion of the Southern press. an evidence, we may quote one of a great many similar notices made of General Scott -even by professedly respectable journals like the Richmond Inquirer. The Montgomery (Alabama) Mail (February 6th) contained this paragraph:
Advice to Southern
"We observe that the students of Franklin Col
lege, Georgia, burned General Scott in effigy a few days ago, as a traitor to the South.' This is well. If any man living deserves such infamy, it is the Lieutenant-General of the (Yankee) United States.
an appetite for the excitement; and it became a very honorable calling for committees to spy out every man of Northern birth to seek to inculpate him in some way, in order to allow of the usual warning "to leave." As early as February these inquisitions became so frequent that large numbers of persons-chiefly Northernborn mechanics and tradesmen, who had found employ and a business in the Southfled for their lives, leaving behind all their | South are an importaut class of our rising genera
And we have a proposition to make, thereanent, to all the young men of the South, wherever scattered,
at school or college; and that is, that they burn this man in effigy all through the South on the evening of the 4th of March next. The students of the
tion. Let them make an epoch in the history of our sunny land, to which legend, and tale, and song shall point in after years. General Scott deserves this grand infamy. He is a traitor to the soil of his birth; false to all the principles of the Commonwealth which nurtured him; the tool, willing, pliant, and bloody, of our oppressors; and it is meet that his name should descend to our posterity as a word of execration! What say the students?"
Some notices of the war-worn veteranwho had added more glory to the American name than any man since the "Father of his Country"'-were so violent and vulgar as to forbid their repetition here, even though they might reflect, with stinging severity, upon a state of society which could be pleased
with such impotent malice.
Instances of Outrage
To show the nature of the persecutions inflicted and Suffering. on those "suspected," in the revolutionary States, we shall cite a few from the numerous well-authenticated instances, that they may stand before a Christian world as an evidence of the civilization which springs from a state of society like
that which controls the Southern States of America.
An advertisement appeared in a New York daily, February 18th, as follows:
“FARMING MANAGER.-An Englishman by birth, having had very extensive experience in breeding, raising, buying and selling of all kinds of cattle and sheep in his own country, and who has been en
gaged North in agriculture for three years, and South for two, is on his way to New York, having been expelled, and his property confiscated, on suspicion of being opposed to Slavery. He would like to engage with any gentleman having room to grow grain and roots, and to farm on a modern, enlightened system, not looking to corn alone. He is 40, and has a small family. Address
This case was that of a person named Gardiner. He had taken a farm "on shares," near Wilmington, North Carolina. In August, September, and October he labored assiduously and successfully, and got a good start. In the Fall he obtained about sixty dollars worth of seeds from New York, ready for his Spring planting. He was astounded, one day in February, to be arrested and thrown into prison, upon representation of the fellow whose farm he occupied that he (Gardiner) was a dangerous" man. Gardi
Instances of Outrage and Suffering.
ner procured bail from some of his countrymen, but these men were compelled to withdraw their bond, under threats of a similar course towards themselves for being dangerous" citizens. The matter was compromised, out of consideration for his (Gardiner's) wife and children," by having his household goods hastily thrust on a little schooner-on which Gardiner and his family, perfectly penniless, were sent to New York. All his property and improvements passed into the hands of the good Southern Rights man who had instigated the mob, and com
pelled the authorities to the deed of violence.
Two Jersey men were hung in the vicinity of Charleston, early in February, for "suspicion of tampering with slaves." An English captain was served with a coat of tar and feathers in Savannah, in January, for having allowed a stevedore (black) to sit down with him at the dinner-table. Another
Englishman, belonging in Canada, sailed on the vessel was visited by a negro having fruit a vessel trading along coast. At Savannah
to sell. On leaving, the black man asked for a newspaper, and one was given him which happened to contain one of Henry Ward Beecher's sermons. The black was caught by his master reading the "incendiary" document. Refusing to tell how he obtained it, he was ordered to the whipping-post, and flogged until he "confessed." The vessel was boarded by the authorities, and a demand made for the astonished Canadian. The captain, however, stood before him as a British subject; and, by agreeing to ship the culprit North, by the next day's steamer, succeeded in saving him from the mob that stood ready on the shore to lynch him. He was placed on the steamer, on the morrow, when two officials" came forward with a writ, which they agreed not to serve if the poor fellow would pay them fifty dollars. This he gladly paid, and was suffered to depart, "out of consideration for his being a British subject." Had he been a Yankee, be would have been hung.
The following item appeared in the Eufau la (Ala.) Express, (February 6th :)
"A SUSPICIOUS INDIVIDUAL.-The worthy captain of the Home Guards arrested a man on last Tuesday,
INSTANCES OF OUTRAGE
Instances of Outrage
upon complaint made by one or two of our citizens. The charge was the use of improper language in regard to the acts and position of the Southern people at this time. Some of the expressions used by this traveling Yankee were, that Bob Toombs is a traitor, and that the secessionists are thieves and robbers, and that he fully endorsed everything contained in the Knoxville Whig, in regard to coercion, &c. After the examination, which brought out the foregoing facts, the committee of five members of the Home Guards, appointed to investigate the matter, announced as their decision that as the indi
vidual under arrest was only guilty of using improper language, they would set him at liberty, with a request to settle his business and leave as soon as possible. An application of tar and feathers wouldn't be at all amiss in such cases. The man's name is M. A. Smith. He is traveling agent for Scovil & Mead, of New Orleans, druggists. He will bear watching. Pass him around."
Instances of Outrage and Suffering.
shameful manner." He was
"Dogs having been procured, the track was purhad a wife, and thence to the residence of Mr. John sued to a neighboring house, where the boy George
Middlebrook. Under these circumstances, it was thought advisable to arrest the negro, which was the peace, he was duly committed, and placed in the done, and after an investigation before a justice of jail in this place, as we thought, to await his trial at the April term of our Superior Court.
'On Monday morning last a crowd of men from the country assembled in our village, and made known their intention to forcibly take the negro George from the jail, and execute him in defiance of law or opposition. Our efficient sheriff, Major Mr. Smith proceeded on his way. At Abbe- Hargett, together with most of our citizens, remonville (Ala.) he was again "apprehended." strated, persuaded, begged, and entreated them to The Vigilance Committee relieved him of his desist, and reflect for a moment upon the consehorse and buggy, $356 in money, and all his quences which might follow such a course, but withpapers. Then, taking him to a grove oneout avail. Major Hargett promised to guarantee half mile from town, he was hung. No legal the safe-keeping of the prisoner by confining him in proceedings were had in his case-no evi- any manner they might suggest, and our citizens dence existed as to his asserted "crime," exproposed to guard the jail night and day, but all to no purpose. There was no appeasing them. They cept the newspaper's statement. He was rushed to the jail, and, despite of all remonstrances, dealt with according to the law of the super- with axe, hammer, and crow-bar, violently broke judicial Vigilance Committee.
It has been denied that Southern men ever permitted the roasting alive of slaves guilty of the high crime of murder of masters, or of the more heinous and diabolical nameless crime against females. Proof to the contrary, however, not only is not wanting, but is quite abundant, which goes to show that that horrible and barbarous mode of execution has been resorted to for lesser crimes than those indicated--even upon suspicion. A case in point was freely narrated by the Harris County (Geo.) Enterprise, in February. the 14th of that month a lady named Middlebrook, being alone in her house, was alarmed early in the morning, by the entrance of some person. "She hailed the intruder," the paper stated, who, to silence her cries, took her from her bed, and, carrying her across the yard, "threw her over the fence." This was all. No violence upon her person, no maiming-only "the fiend" abused her in a "most
through the doors, and took the prisoner out, carrying him about two miles from town, where they chained him to a tree, and burned him to death.
We understand that the negro protested his innocence with his last breath, though repeatedly urged to confess."
This horrible record could be written of no civilized country on the globe save of the Southern States of America. How that last paragraph rings out its silent imprecation upon a state of society which would allow such a deed to be committed on its soil! These murderers were "citizens," and, of course, never were even questioned as to their crime; it was only a suspected negro whom they burned. This deed was committed about fifty miles above Eufaula.
Atlanta (Geo.) boasted of as violent a people as Eufaula or Abbeville. The same spirit which roasted a suspected negro would have hung a white man who might have been guilty of offence to the sensitive people. The
Instances of Outrage
Intelligencer, of Atlanta, in February, thus paragraph. ed the public sentiment of that locality, in regard to the editor of the Nashville (Tenn.) Democrat, who had pronounced Jefferson Davis a great humbug:
"If Mr. Hurley will come to Atlanta, we take the responsibility of saying that his tavern bill or his burial expenses shall not cost him anything. The only thing which strikes our astonishment is, that the people of Nashville would tolerate such a paper as the Democrat in their midst. General Jackson, whose bones repose within twelve miles of the City of Nashville, doubtless turned in the grave when such abominable doctrines were permitted to go forth from a Nashville paper."
These "abominable doctrines" were loving the Union more than the newly-hatched Southern Confederacy—that was all. How
many men were hung for the same crime in that delectable neighborhood, the Vigilance Committees only knew.
The manner in which men's lives were im
periled may be learned from a statement
"It would have been madness for me to have staid
to collect the money due me. I had seen enough to know that any man charged with being an Abolitionist was certain to be hung or thrown into the river by lynch law, and there were my employer's two brothers to swear, as they told me they would, that I was an Abolitionist. Not very long before I left, a planter had been robbed and murdered on the highway; and there came along on the levee where we were working a crowd of about forty ruffians, all armed to the teeth, and accompanied by about forty hounds, such as are used to track runaway negroes. They searched our cabin, and inquired particularly after any strangers.' Three hours after they returned with a white man whom they had seized. He was tied to the tail of a mule by a halter around his neck. I afterwards heard that they took him into the timber and half hung him to make him confess, and would have hung him outright, but for a planter who persuaded them to wait until the next day, when the real murderer was caught, and this man was released."
Instances of Outrage and Suffering.
this statement, since hun-
The statement of Mary Crawford, made public in the winter of 1861, detailed, with painful minuteness, the sad story of her husband's awful murder in Tarrant County, Texas, July 17th, 1860. The man was taken on suspicion of being an Abolitionist, and, after being shot, was hung. The wretched wife, informed by her two little boys (who had been with their father out to haul wood, when Crawford was seized) of their fears, had started out to learn something of her husband's fate.
short distance when a party of men informed She had proceeded but a
her, with indifference, that her husband was hung. The narrative read:
"They took me back to the place we had been living in. My grief, my indignation, my misery, I have no words, no desire to describe. The body was not brought to me until night, and only then by the direction of Captain Dagget, a son-in-law and partner of Turner, (for whom Crawford had done much work,) who had been a friend to my husband, and was the only man of any influence who dared to befriend me. He had been away from home, and did not return until after the murder had been done. He denounced the act, and said they killed an in nocent man."
The local newspaper-the Fort Worth Chief—thus chronicled the tragedy:
"MAN HUNG.-On the 17th inst. was found the body of a man by the name of William H. Crawford, suspended to a pecan-tree about three-quarters of a mile from town. A large number of persons visited the body during the day. At a meeting of the citi zens the same evening, strong evidence was adduced proving him to have been an Abolitionist. The meeting endorsed the action of the party who hung him. Below we give the verdict of the jury of inquest:
We, the jury, find that William H. Crawford, the dereased, came to his death by being hung with a grass rope ted around his neck and suspended from a pecan limb, by some person or persons to the jurors unknown. That be was hung on th - 17th day of July, 1860, between the hours of 9 o'clock A. M. and 1 o'clock P. M. We could see no other marks of violence on the person of the deceased.'"
This man Turner-a lawyer, and an owner There was nothing new or remarkable in of forty slaves-was one of those persons