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This History




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“ HOWEVER disagreeable it may be,” | ple is immediately dependent. In many is the language of the American his- lights, truly, a most sad and humiliating torian, Minot, in commencing his nar- struggle ; in others, radiant with the rative of the Insurrections in Massa- purest glory of national devotion and chusetts in 1786, and the Rebellion self-sacrifice. Consequent Thereon, “ to review the The time has, of course, not yet come troubles of our country, every patriot for a complete record of these occur-will look upon it as his duty, not to let rences to be written. The movement them pass without notice. The period began in secrecy ; many of its hidden of misfortune is the most fruitful source contrivances and resources will probably of instruction. By investigating the never be fully known ; others may be causes of national commotions, by trac- disclosed only by the revelations of priing their progress and by carefully vate manuscripts and correspondence in marking the means through which they another age. Even a knowledge of what are brought to a conclusion, well estab- was publicly transacted, so wide has been lished principles may be deduced, for the area and so numerous and complipreserving the future tranquility of the cated have been the incidents, must await commonwealth.” It is in the calm, im- the slow and patient labors of long-conpartial spirit of this remark that we tinued research. Who can now enter would proceed to narrate, simply and into the secrets of the opposing cabiclearly as we may, the development of nets, or unravel the intricate web of the present most extraordinary conflict, statesmanship ? The very operations a rebellion or attempted revolution, gi- of war, which would appear to be of gantic in its extent, terrible in the fe- a tangible character, have always their rocity with which it has been carried on, disputes and contradictions. With the and memorable to all time for its trial best of evidence before us it is most difof principles and modes of government, ficult to determine the facts of a battlein which the whole modern world is what was actually performed and sufferinterested, and upon the maintenance ed, let alone determining the motives and of which the welfare of millions of peo- | plans of the combatants. Military critics

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yet dispute over conflicts which hundreds instances only by patient toil and long of annalists and commentators have la- continued self-denial. When the men of bored to elucidate. How then must it these opposite regio's first met in the be when the smoke and dust of the en- conventions and congresses preliminary counter have scarce rolled away from to the formation of the national confedthe plain ?

eracy, the effects of these diversities were Enough, however, lies open to the exhibited in taste and temper. John view to supply the reader with the more Adams, then making his way rapidly prominent features of these extraordi- upward in the world, a curious and polinary passing events ; to gratify his cu- tic student of men's manners, and keenly riosity in many most interesting partic-sensitive to social discriminations, has left ulars ; to afford fruitful opportunity for us in his diaries and correspondence meditation in even a cursory review of various anecdotes and observations of the chronicle. We shall meet with these differences. As he travels southmany deeds of exalted heroisin, worthy ward from New England, he notices in a better field than the painful theatre Virginia the increased style and expense of civil war ; with many exhibitions of of living, and more than once records the manners and character which we might perils to which the infant Union was subsurvey with more satisfaction, perhaps, jected in the opposite temperaments and were our fellow citizens not the actors, interests of the representatives of the and our beloved country the scene.

North and the South. There is in particuTo understand properly the origin lar a curious illustration of the relative and causes of this attempt on the part social aspects of the two regions, in a of the Southern States to assert and letter which he wrote in 1775, to Joseph maintain their independence of the gov- Hawley, in reference to the pay given by ernment of the United States, we must Congress to the privates of the army. ascend to the beginning of our national His correspondent, at the East, urged history. We shall there find at the out- that this remuneration be increased, a set certain differences and conditions, recommendation to which Adams replies marking the two portions of the coun- that the gentlemen of the army from the try, the North and the South, which at southward thought it already too high, no subsequent period, perhaps, have and that of the officers too low. He been wholly inoperative. They are to says that “many an anxious day and be referred, generally, to climate and night” has been spent upon this subject; the social relations springing from the and adds the general reflection, peculiar institution of slavery. The cannot suddenly alter the temper, prinSouth, as an agricultural producing re- ciples, opinions and prejudices of men. gion, with its fields tilled and its products The characters of gentlemen in the four gathered by slave labor, a privileged class New England colonies differ as much of its inhabitants enjoying the benefits from those in the others, as that of the of wealth thus obtained, presented many common people differs ; that is, as much contrasts to the less favored regions of as several distinct nations almost. Genthe North, where competence, and even a tlemen, men of sense, or any kind of bare subsistence could be gained in most education, in the other colonies, are much


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fewer in proportion than in New England. the rampart and the deadly encounter Gentlemen in the colonies have large with the foe was not lost upon them. It plantations of slaves, and the common was a great lesson of brotherhood when people among them are very ignorant Morgan and his riflemen hastened on foot and very poor.

These gentlemen are on their extraordinary march to the field accustomed, habituated to higher notions of Saratoga, or when Lincoln and Green of themselves, and the distinction be- with their companions found themselves tween them and the common people than by the side of Sumter and Marion, in dewe are. And an instantaneous alteration fence of the plantations of the South. It of the character of a colony, and that was a still greater when WASHINGTON, temper and those sentiments which its aptly chosen from the middle region of inhabitants imbibed with their mothers' | the country, a representative of the purmilk, and which have grown with their est and best traditions of the Soutlı, growth, and strengthened with their patiently and magnanimously spent his strength, cannot be made without a mir- life in reconciling all contradictions, to acle. I dread the consequences of this mould and establish a great nation. The dissimilitude of character, and without fates seemed to hold an impartial balance the utmost caution on both sides, and the as the struggle for independence begun most considerate forbearance with one on Northern soil ended in the siinny reanother, and prudent condescension on gion of the South. both sides, they will certainly be fatal. Notwithstanding, however, this cement An alteration of the Southern Constitu- of blood in the common struggle of the tions, which must certainly take place if Revolution, the North and the South this war continues, will gradually bring were not as yet sufficiently one people all the continent nearer and nearer to to enter without an effort upon the more each other in all repects." **

perfect union of the Constitution. The This, certainly, is a very noticeable pas- historian of that great charter of our sage which has lost none of its political liberties, while enumerating the embarsignificance after the lapse of three-quar- rassments which beset its adoption, inters of a century. That alteration of the cludes also, as "a very serious cause for Southern Constitutions is yet needed to discouragement, the sectional jealousy complete that essential condition of a per- and State pride which had been confect union, which has never been better stantly growing from the Declaration of defined than in those very words, “grad- Independence to the time when the ually bringing all the continent nearer States were called upon to meet each and nearer to each other in all respects.” other upon broader grounds, and

The war of the Revolution did much to make even larger sacrifices than at any accomplish this. The men of the South former period. It is difficult,” he adds. shed their blood in the battle-fields of the in a philosophic spirit, and with a North, and the men of the North in the prescience of coming events, "to trace battle-fields of the South, in a common to all its causes the feeling which has at cause ; and the fraternity of the trench, times arrayed the different extremities

of this Union against each other. It * Letter to Joseph Hawley, Philadelphia, 25th Novem

was very early developed, after the dif

ber, 1775. Adams' Works, ix. 366-7.

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