Page images
[ocr errors]

of humanity by the deeds of a savage-who, in the South, has been in this war a robber, an assassin, a thief in the night, and at home a slave fawning on the hand that manacles him-has secured for himself the everlasting contempt of the world. The characteristics of a people who boasted themselves the most enlightened of Christian nations, are seen in a castrated civiliation; while the most remarkable qualities they have displayed in the war are illustrated by the coarse swagger and drunken fumes of such men as Butler, and the rouged lies of such “military authorities” as Halleck and Hooker.

All vestiges of constitutional liberty have long ago been lost in the North. The very term of “State rights” is mentioned with derision, and the States of the North have ceased to be more than geographical designations. No trace is left of the old political system but in the outward routine of the gov. ernment. The Constitution of the United States is but “the skin of the immolated victim," and the forms and ceremonies of a republic are the disguises of a cruel and reckless despotism.

During the two miserable and disastrous years that Mr. Lin. coln has held the presidency of the United States, he has made the institutions of his country but a name. The office of president is no longer recognized in its republican simplicity ; it is overlaid with despotic powers, and exceeds in reality the most famous imperial titles. Not a right secured by the Constitution but has been invaded ; not a principle of freedom but has been overthrown; pot a franchise but has been trampled under foot. The infamous “ death order” published by Burnside, more bloody than the Draconian penalty and more cruel than the rude decrees of the savage, is without a parallel in the domestic rule, or in the warfare of any people making the feeblest pretence to civilization. It assigns the penalty of death to is writers of letters sent by secret mails," and to all persons who “ feed, clothe, or in any manner aid" the soldiers of the Confederacy. This infamous decree will live in history; it is already associated with a memorable martyrdom - that of Clement Vallandigham.

It is remarkable that the North finds great difficulty in aseigning to the world the objects of the present mad and inhu

The old pretences made by the Yankees of fighting


[ocr errors]

mall war.

for a constitutional Union, and contesting the cause of free government for the world, are too absurd and disgusting to be repeated. They are unwilling to admit that they are fighting for revenge, and prosecuting a war, otherwise hopeless, for the gratification of a blind and fanatical hate. They have recently changed the political phrases of the war, and the latest exposition of its object is, that the North contends for “the life of the nation.” If this means that a parasite is struggling for existence, and that the North desires the selfish aygrandizements of the Union, and its former tributes to its wealth, we shall not dispute the theory. But the plain question occurs, what right has the North to constrain the association of a people who have no benefit to derive from the partnership, and who, by the laws of nature and society, are free to consult their own happiness? The North has territory and numbers and physical resources enough for a separate existence, and if she has not virtue enongh to sustain a national organization, she has no right to seek it in a compulsory union with a people who, sensible of their superior endowments, have resolved to take their destinies in their own hands.

There is one sense, indeed, in which association with the South does imply the national welfare of the North. The South gave to the old government all its ideas of statesmanship; it leavened the political mass with its characteristic conservatism ; and it combated, and, to some extent, controlled the brutal theory that represented numbers as the element of free government. The revolutionary and infidel society of the North was moderated by the piety and virtues of the Sonth, and the old national life was in some degree purified by the political ideas and romantic character of that portion of the country now known-as the Confederacy. It is in this sense that the Southern element is desirable to the North, and that the Union involves “ the life of the nation ;” and it is precisely in the same sense that an eternal dissociation and an independent national existence are objects to the South not only of desire, but of vital necessity.

We can never go back to the embraces of the North. There is blood and leprosy in the touch of our former associate. We can never again live with a people who have made of this war a huge assassination ; who have persecuted us with savage and cowardly hate; who gloat over the fancies of starving women and children ; who have appealed to the worst passions of the black heart of the negro to take revenge upon us; and who, not satisfied with the emancipation proclamation and its epheme of servile insurreotion, have actually debated in the State Legislatures the policy of paying negroes premiums jur the murder of white families in the South.

While we congratulate ourselves on the superivrity of our political ideas over those of the North, and the purer life of our society, we do not forget that, although we have carried away much less of the territory and numbers of the old Union. than have been left to our enemy, we still have a sufficiency of the material elements of a national existence.

The South has attempted to lay the foundations of national independence, with a territory as great as the whole of Europe, with the exception of Russia and Turkey; with a population four times that of the continental colonies; and with a capacity for commerce equivalent to nearly four-fifths of the exports of the old Union.

It is only necessary to glance at the contemporary aspects of the war to reassure our confidence in its destiny, and to renew our vows upon its altars. The hope of reconstruction is a vanity of the enemy. To mobocratic Yankees; to New England

* The following is taken from an Abolition pamphlet (1863), entitled “Interesting Debate," etc., in the Senate of Pennsylvania. It is characteristic of the blasphemous fanaticism of the Yankee and his hideous lust for blood :

“ Mr. Lowry-I believed then and now that He who watches over the spar. row will chastise us until we will be just towards ourselves and towards four millions of God's poor, down-cast prisoners of war. I said that I would arm the negro-that I would. place him in the front of battle-and that I would invite his rebel master with his stolen arms to shoot his stolen ammunition into his stolen property at the rate of a thousand dollars a shot. I said further, that were I communder-in-chief, by virtue of the war power and in obedience to the customs of civilized nations, and in accordance with the laws of civilized nations, I would confiscate every rebel's property, whether upon two legs or four, and that I would give to the slave who would bring me his master's disloyal scalp one hundred and sixty acres of his master's plantation ; nor would I be at all exacting as to where the scalp was taken off, so that it was at some point between the bottom of the ears and the top of the loins. This, sii, was my language long before Fremont had issued his immortal proclamation. The logic of events is sanctifying daily these anointed trutlis. Father, forgive thou those who deride and vilify me, because I enunciated them: they know not what they do."

“ majorities;" to the base crews of Infidelity and Abolitionism; to the savages who have taken upon their souls the curse of fratricidal blood and darkened an age of civilization with unntterable crime and outrage, the South can never surrender, giv. ing up to such a people their name, their lands, their wealth, their traditions, their glories, their heroes newly dead, their victories, their hopes of the future. Such a fate is morally im. possible. We have not paid a great price of life for nothing. We have not forgotten our dead. The flower of our youth and the strength of our manhood have not gone down to the grave in vain. We are not willing for the poor boon of a life dishonored and joyless to barter our liberties, surrender our homes to the spoiler, exist as the vassals of Massachusetts, or become exiles, whose title to pity will not exceed the penalty of contempt. Any contact, friendly or indifferent, with the Yankee, since the display of his vices, would be painful to a free and enlightened people. It would be vile and unnatural to the people of the South if extended across the bloody gulf of a cruel war, and unspeakably infamous if made in the attitude of submission.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »