« PreviousContinue »
THE SOUTH ALTOGETHER WRONG.
507 selves to the honorable office of breeding slaves to be consumed on the free and democratic plantations of the South; thus replacing the African trade by an internal one of equal atrocity. The South has become enamored of her shame.
"If the Slave States be joined by the Border States, they will constitute the real United States; the North will be a rump. She would have only a coast of a few hundred miles, from the British frontier to the Delaware; all the sea-line and the great rivers will belong to the South. Virginia pushes a spur of territory to within a hundred miles of Lake Erie, and splits the Free States of the Atlantic from those of the West. It is very well to speculate on Not likely that they the return of an erring sister, but it is the nature of cracks to widen. In this country there is only one wish-that the Union may survive this terrible trial."
The South Carolina declaration described.
Of the declaration by South Carolina of the causes which led to her seçession, it is said that "it looks as if it had been long written, and carried about, like the redoubtable cane of the ever-to-be-regretted Brooks, ready to be put into requisition on the first convenient opportunity. It is not so lively and spirit-stirring a composition as a little more literary skill might have made it, but we can not tell how much a man is allowed to know of the history of the world in that fortunate country without being exposed to the vengeance of the halter and the tar-barrel. Nothing can be more frivolous than the grounds of this manifesto; its statements are utter falsehoods. Without law, without justice, without delay, South Carolina is treading the path that leads to the downfall of nations and to the misery of families. The hollowness of her cause is seen beneath all the pomp of her labored denunciations. Charleston, without trade, is an animal under an exhaust
SECESSION IS TREASON.
ed receiver. Trade is her very breath. She had better look before she takes the dark leap; she may light on something worse than the present, or-on nothing at all. It is easy to decide any day in the affirmative the question whether to cut one's throat or not, but when once one has come to that decision and acted on it, it is not so easy to review the arguments leading to a contrary view of the case.
"Time, the Avenger, is doing justice between the Amer ican people and ourselves. With what willingness would they not see their sonorous Fourth of July rhetoric cov ered by the waters of oblivion! They have fallen to pieces, but we have shown no joy at secession; we have given no encouragement to the South; we have turned away from the bait of free trade, and have strengthened them by our sympathy and advice. The secession of South Carolina is to them what the secession of LancaSecession is nothing shire would be to us-it is treason, and but treason. should be put down. But the North is full of sophists, rhetoricians, logicians, and lawyers; it has not a man of action. Mr. Seward can tell us what will not save the Union, but not what will. He looks upon secession as ideal and impossible. While he is dreaming, the Confederacy is strengthening. The Union seems to be destined to fall without a struggle, without a lament, without an epitaph. Each individual state finds numberless citizens ready to lay down their lives for its pres ervation; but for the Union, the mighty firmament in which those stars are set, and which, though dark itself, lends them their peculiar lustre, nothing is done. The Imbecility of the President says he can do nothing. His countrymen boast of the smallness of his salary, but, according to our estimate, he is the most overpaid of mortals. With provoking inconsistency, he will neither fight nor run away. But perhaps his policy has
CHAP. LX. PROSPECTIVE DISASTERS OF THE SOUTH.
not been unwise. Since the traitors Floyd, and Cobb, and Thompson have departed, he has adopted the best possible course to stand on the defensive. His message is a greater blow to the American people than all the rants of the Georgia governor or the ordinances of the Charlestonians. He has dissipated the idea that the states which elected him are one people. The federation is not a nationality, it is only a partnership.
Virginia will be
"Considering the probable action of the Border States, it may be expected that Virginia will go guided by her ne- with the South, for the simple reason that the South will buy her negroes, and the North will not. The Gulf States know the power which, as the purchasers of slaves, they possess over the specious, but unreal neutrality of the Border States. If Virginia should take that course, the North must find a new capital. Washington will be lost. Every thing now turns on what the Border States will do; but their demands are exorbitant. Our own belief is that the ultimate settlement of the question turns on the mutual dependence of the two sections, and the essential identity of the people. The force of political cohesion will probably be too strong even for the ambition and the sectional hatred of the Charleston demagogues. Though things look so promising for them, it is evident that the secession leaders and their too willing followers are at the beginning of terrible disasters. Southern credit does not stand high either in the Union or in the world. Capital flies from a land ruled by
The financial credit of the South very low.
"At a moment when the destinies of the Union are trembling in the balance, and the republic is menaced with the worst catastrophe of civil war, its Legislature is engaged upon a measure which seems calculated at once to alienate foreign nations and embitter domestic strife.
The folly of the
EFFECT OF THE MORRILL TARIFF.
The Morrill tariff bill is an act for the establishment of protective duties on a most extravagant scale. It will almost prohibit all imports into the United States from England, France, and Germany. It has been said that slavery does not constitute the essence of the quarrel; that it is a blind, and that the real point of contention is the tariff. We believe that the contest for territory is the real contest between the North and the South; but it is true that free trade is the natural system of the South. It is doubtful, however, if the Southern States have clearly conceived the object of their secession. Is it the question of slavery or that of free trade? We have never read a public document so difficult to interpret as the inaugural of the anti-President. He says that divine Providence is on the side of slavery, which, probably from motives of delicacy, he never mentions by name. It is useless to disguise the fact that, whatever may be thought of Mr. Davis's rhetoric, so long as the Washington Congress adds new reating the sympathy strictions to a protective policy, it cuts itself off from the sympathy of its friends. It will not be our fault if the inopportune legislation of the North, combined with the reciprocity of wants between and modifying En- ourselves and the South, should bring about a considerable modification in our relations with America. The tendencies of trade are inexorable. It may be that the Southern population will now become our best customers. The Free States will long repent an act which brings needless discredit on the intrinsic merits of their cause. ""
The North is alien
of its friends,
It wanted no more than statements of this kind to give currency to the opinion that the manufacturof New England ing New England States, and the iron-producing state, Pennsylvania, were willing to push matters to the extremity of civil war, not for the
CHAP. LX.] DIVISION OF THE UNION INEVITABLE.
The trade of the North will be transferred to
sake of upholding the Union, but for the incurring of a vast national debt, the interest of which would insure a high tariff in perpetuity. At this time "one sixth of the population of England-four millions of persons-were depending on cotton manufactures for their daily bread, and 77 per cent. of the cotton consumed came from Amer ica. There was imminent danger that the mills would only work half-time." But let us continue our extracts. "It is our duty to point out the tendency of this retrograde commercial policy in the North. It will transfer the European trade from Boston and New York to Charleston and New The warmest friends of the Union can not expect our merchants to celebrate its obsequies by self-immolation. But let the Free States prove themselves capable of postponing sectional interests to a truly national policy, and it will soon become evident on which side English sympathies are engaged. From the commercial point of view, we are not blind enough to suppose that we shall gain by the disintegration of the American Union into such fragments as Mexico and the South American republics.
The Union completely divided.
"The Union is effectually divided into two rival confederacies. The Southern is tainted by slavery, filibustering, and called into existence, it would seem, by a course of deliberate and deep-laid treason on the part of high officers of the government at Washington. In the Northern, the principles avowed are such as to command the sympathies of every free and enlightened people. But mankind will not ultimately judge by sympathies and antipathies; they will be greatly swayed by their own interests. If the Northern Confederacy evinces a determination to act in a narrow, exclusive, unsocial spirit, it will lose the sympathy and the regard of mankind. Up to this time Congress has done