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FINANCIAL MEASURES OF THE GOVERNMENT.
requisite for that purpose, composed of seven citizens, whom he named,' who
(Mr. Chase), Congress authorized a loan of
after date, with annual interest at the
ized in denominations not less than five dollars, and to the extent of fifty millions of dollars. The Government was allowed to deposit its funds with solvent banks, instead of confining these deposits to the National Sub-treasury. This measure, together with the issue of the bills receivable for specie, relieved the financial pressure at a time when it threatened. serious embarrassments.
To provide for the payment of the interest on this debt, and • August 5,
to meet other demands, an act' was passed" for the increase of
revenues from imports, by which new duties were imposed upon foreign articles of luxury and necessity. By a provision of the same act, a direct tax of twenty millions of dollars was to be laid upon the real estate of the country, in which the amount to be raised in each State was specified, not excepting those in which rebellion existed. Provision was also made for levying a tax on the excess of all incomes above eight hundred dollars ; but
1 Edward Everett, of Massachusetts; Franklin Pierce, of New Hampshire; Millard Fillmore, of New York; Reverdy Johnson, of Maryland; Martin Van Buren, of New York; Thomas Ewing, of Ohio; and Jaines Guthrie, of Kentucky.
. See No. 40 of the Acts and Resolutions passed during the First Session of the Thirty-seventh Congress.
ADJOURNMENT OF CONGRESS.-CONFEDERATE CONGRESS.
Mr. Chase's suggestion concerning excise duties, and other taxes on special articles of personal property, legacies, &c., were not adopted at that time. Indeed, this system of taxation was not put in operation until after it was modified at the next session of Congress; for the President, who was invested with power to appoint officers to carry it out, was not allowed by the act to exercise it until the following February.'
In the month of September, Mr. Chase sent forth a patriotic appeal to the people, in behalf of the subscription to the authorized loan. He called for purchasers at par of one hundred and fifty millions of Treasury notes, bearing seven and three-tenths per cent. interest, and met with a cordial response from individuals and banking institutions. The obvious advantages of the loan caused the first and second issues, of fifty millions each, to be generally absorbed for investment; and this mark of confidence in the Government and the financial system of the Secretary filled the hearts of the loyal people with gladness. We shall, as occasion offers, hereafter notice the working of the Treasury Department under the management of Mr. Chase.
When Congress had finished the business for which they were called together, they adjourned on the 6th of August, after a session of thirty-three days. They had worked carnestly and industriously, and the product of their labors consisted of the passage of sixty-one public and seven private acts, and five joint resolutions. They had made ample provisions for sustaining the contest against the enemies of the Republic; and, on the day before the adjournment, in a joint resolution, they requested the President to “recommend a day of public humiliaiton, prayer, and fasting, to be observed by the people of the United States with religious solemnity, and the offering of fervent supplications to Almighty God for the safety and welfare of these States, his blessings on their arms, and a speedy restoration of peace.”
Whilst the National Congress was in session at Washington, and armies were contending along the borders of Bull's Run, the Third Session of the 80-called “Provisional Congress” of the conspirators (who, as we have seen, had left the Senate-Chamber of the Capitol of Alabama, at Montgomery," wherein their Confederacy was formed) was commenced
a May 21, in the Capitol of Virginia, at Richmond, on the 20th of July." There was a full attendance. The members assembled at noon, and were called to order by Howell Cobb, when the Rev. S. K. Tallmadge, of Georgia, made a prayer. At half-past twelve o'clock, Col. Josselyn, the private secretary of Jefferson Davis, appeared, and delivered to “Congress” a communi
1 It was estimated by the Secretary of the Treasury, that the real and personal values in the United States, at that time, reached the vast aggregate of $16,000,000,000, of which $11,000,000,000 were in the loyal States. It was also estimated that the yearly surplus earninys of the loyal people amounted to over $400,000,000.
9 The war," said Mr. Chase, “ made necessary by insurrection, and reluctantly accepted by the Government, must be prosecuted with all possible vigor, until the restoration of the just authority of the Union shall Insure permanent peace. The same Pruridence which conducted our fathers through the difficulties and dangers which beset the formation of the Union, has graciously strengthened our hands for the work of its preservation. The crops of the year are ample. Granaries and barns are everywhere full. The capitalists of the country come cheerfully forward to sustain the credit of the Government. Already, also, even in advance of this appeal, men of all occupations seek to share the honors and the advantages of the loan. Never, except because of the temporary depression caused by the rebellion, and the derangement of business occasioned by it, were the people of the United States in a better condition to sustain a great contest than now.'
: The President, hy proclamation on the 12th of August, appointed the last Thursday in September to be observed as a day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer.
• See page 547, volume I.
cation from that chief leader of the Rebellion. In that “message,” Davis congratulated his confederates on the accession of States to their league. He assured them that the National Government had now revealed its intentions to subjugate them by a war “whose folly” was “equaled by its wickedness,” and whose“ dire calamities would fall with double severity” on the loyal people themselves. He charged the President with “a violation of an armistice” concerning Fort Sumter, and declared the assertion that the insurgents commenced hostilities, to be "an unfounded pretense.” He argued that the Confederacy was “a great and powerful nation,” because the Government had made such extensive preparations for its overthrow; also that the nationality of the leagued insurgents had been recognized by the Government, by its establishment of “blockades by sea and land;" also that the idea that the inhabitants of the “Confederate States” were citizens of the United States was repudiated by the Government, in making war upon them “ with a savage ferocity unknown to modern civilization.”
With the same disregard of candor which characterized Beauregard's proclamation at Manassas, in June, and with the same evident intention to “fire the Southern heart,"3 Davis said of the warfare of the Nationals: “Rapine is the rule; private residences, in peaceful rural districts, are bombarded and burnt,” and pains taken to have “a brutal soldiery completely destroy every article of use or ornament in private houses.” “Mankind will
“ shudder,” he continued, “to hear the tales of outrages committed on defenseless females, by soldiers of the United States now invading our homes." He
This picture is from a sketch made by the author, while on a visit to Montgomery, early in April, 1866. The mahogany furniture was the same as that used by the onnspirators at the forination of their Confederary, ? See pages 305 to 209, inclusive, volnme 1.
3 See page 550, volume I.
BANISHMENT AND CONFISCATION ACTS.
charged the Government with making "special war" on the South, including the women and the children, “by carefully devised measures to prevent their obtaining medicines necessary for their cure," with “cool and deliberate malignity, under pretext of suppressing an insurrection.” He spoke of “other savage practices which have been resorted to by the Government of the United States," and cited the case of the prisoners taken with the pirate-ship Savannah, already referred to in this work. After speaking of the annunciation at the seat of Government, that the States were subordinate to the National authority and had no right to secede, and that the President was authorized to suspend the privilege of the writ of Habeas Corpus, “ when,” as the Constitution says, “in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it,” he said: “We may well rejoice that we have severed all connection with a Government which thus tramples on all the principles of constitutional liberty, and with a people in whose presence such avowals could be hazarded.” He then spoke of the enthusiasm of the Southern people, their abundant offers of aid to the Confederacy, and the “almost unquestioning confidence which they display in their government during the impending struggle;" and he concluded his communication by saying: “To speak of subjugating such a people, so united and determined, is to speak in language incomprehensible to them. To resist attacks on their rights or their liberties, is with them an instinct. Whether this war shall last one, or three, or five years, is a problem they leave to be solved by the enemy alone; it will last till the enemy shall have withdrawn from their borders—till their political rights, their altars, and their homes, are freed from invasion. Then, and then only, will they rest from this struggle, to enjoy in peace the blessings which, with the favor of Providence, they have secured by the aid of their own strong hearts and sturdy arms.”
With a determination such as Davis expressed, the “Congress" made provision for the contest, and for creating that “United South” which had been proclaimed to the world. For the latter purpose it passed an acto which authorized the banishment from the limits of the
a Aug. & “ Confederate States” of every masculine citizen of the United States (with some exceptions named) over fourteen years of age, who adhered to his Government and acknowledged its authority. The act prescribed as the duty of all courts of justice to cause the arrest of all Union men who did not proclaim their allegiance to the conspirators or leave the Confederacy within forty days, and to treat them as " alien enemies."
6 Ang. 31. Another act authorized the confiscation of every species of property within the limits of the Confederacy belonging to such “alien ene mies" or absent citizens of the United States, with the exceptions mentioned. Various measures were adopted for the increase and efficiency of the army and navy, and for carrying on the immense financial operations of the socalled government. It was officially reported that there were two hundred
I See page 557, volume I.
: The citizens of Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, Missouri, the Territories of New Mexico, Arizona, and the Indian Territory sunth of Kansas, and the District of Columbia, were excepted.
: Further issues of Treasury notes were authorized, and provision was made for a war-tax, for the creation of means for their redemption, to the amount of fifty cents upon each one hundred dollars in value of real estate, slaves, merchandise, stocks of corporations, rey at interest or invested in various securities, excepting ConFederate bonds, money in hand or in bank, live stock, gold watches, gold and silver plate, pianos, horses, and pleasure carriages.
RETALIATION.-ATTITUDE OF THE CONFEDERATES.
thousand soldiers in the field; and Davis was authorized to increase this force by an addition of four hundred thousand volunteers, to serve for not less than twelve months or more than three years. He was authorized to send ad
ditional commissioners to Europe; and on the last day of the ses40. Si, sion an act was passed giving him authority to inflict retaliation
upon the persons of prisoners of war. This measure had special reference to the captives of the pirate-ship Savannah, concerning whom, as we have observed,' Davis had already sent a threatening letter to the President, to which no reply was given. Under the provisions of that act, Colonel Corcoran and other officers were closely confined as hostages, and treated worse than the pirates were. The latter, as we have observed, were, for the ' sake of humanity, treated as prisoners of war, and in due time the hostages were exchanged.
On the establishment of the so-called government at Richmond, Davis's committee of advisers, whom he dignified with the title of “Cabinet,” was reorganized. R. M. T. Hunter, of Virginia, had become his “Secretary of State." Judah P. Benjamin, his law officer, was made “Secretary of War," and was succeeded in his office by ex-Governor Thomas Bragg, of North Carolina. The other members of the “Cabinet” were the same as those first appointed." In every phase of its organization, the “new government” was modeled after the rejected one; and in form, and numbers, and operations, the Confederacy presented to the world the outward aspect of a respectable nation. Seals were devised for the use of the several “ Departments;" and on that made for the “Department of State," which, more than others, might be seen abroad, was the significant legend, in indifferent Latin, Nulla PATRIA AMICTÆ FIDEI, meaning, No country, no fatherland, that does not keep faith, or where faith is covered up—that is to say, We reject the National Government because it is faithless. With this feeling they set about the establishment of a new empire, with wonderful energy, and called forth all of the industrial resources of the region under their control, with results the most
1 See page 557, volume I.
? This letter was taken by Captain Thomas H. Taylor, with a flag of truce, to the head-quarters of General McDowell, at Arlington House, when the bearer was conducted to the qnarters of General Scott, in Washington City, where the letter was delivered.
3 See note 2 page 557, volume I. The trial of the officers and crew of the Savannah occurred at New York, in October, 1861. It continued seven days, when, the jury disagreeing the prisoners were remanded to the custody of the marshals. In the mean time, Williain Smith, another Confederate privateersman, had been tried in Philadelphia, and found guilty of piracy, the penalty for which was death by hanging. Now was afforded an opportunity for the exercise of that system of retaliation which the Confederate “Congress" had authorized. Accordingly, on the 9th of November, 1861, Judah P. Benjamin, the Confederate - Secretary of War," instructed General Winder to select by lot * from among the prisoners of war of the highest rank" one who was to be confined in a cell appropriated to convicted felons, to be a hostage for Captain Smith, of the Savannah, and to be executed if he should suffer death. Also to select in the same way thirteen other prisoners of war, the bighest in rank, to be confined in cells used for convicted felons, and to be treated as such so long as the National Government so treated a “like number of prisoners of war captured by them at sea." This order was read by General Winder, in the presence of seventy-five captive officers, in the old Tobacco Warehouse, in Richmond, on the 10th of November. He had six slips of paper, each containing the name of one of the six colonels of the National Army then held as prisoners. These were handed to Colonel W. R. Lee, of the 20th Massachusetts Regiment, recently captured at Ball's Bluff, who was directed to place them in a deep tin case provided for the purpose, when Mr. Ely was directed to draw one out, the officer whose name it should bear “to be held as hostage for William Smith, convicted of piracy." The lot fell upon Colonel Corcoran, then a prisoner in Castle Pinckney, in Charleston harbor. The names of the other thirteen hostages were drawn in the same way. They were: Colonels Lee, Wilcox, Cogswell, Wood, and Woodruff; Lieutenant-Colonels Bowman and Neff; Majors Potter, Revere, and Vogdes; and Captains Rockwood, Bowman, and Keffer.-Journal of Alfred Ely, Nov. 10, 1861, pages 210 to 216, inclusive. * See page 253.
See engraving on page 35.