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bondage, with the consent of this government, the slaves who constitute the laboring and producing masses of the insurrectionary states. At the same time, the emancipation of the slaves could be effected only by executive authority, and on the ground of military necessity. As a preliminary to the exercise of that great power, the President must have not only the exigency, but the general consent of the loyal people of the Union in the border slave states where the war was raging, as well as in the free states which have escaped this scourge, which could only be obtained through a clear conviction on their part that the military exigency had actually occurred. It is thus seen that what has been discussed so earnestly at home and abroad as a question of morals or of humanity has all the while been practically only a military question, depending on time and circumstances. The order for emancipation, to take effect on the first of January, in the states then still remaining in rebellion against the Union, was issued upon due deliberation and conscientious consideration of the actual condition of the war, and the state of opinion in the whole country.

No one who knows how slavery was engrafted upon the nation when it was springing up into existence; how it has grown and gained strength as the nation itself has advanced in wealth and power; how fearful the people have hitherto been of any change which might disturb the parasite, will contend that the order comes too late. It is hoped and believed that after the painful experience we have had of the danger to which the Federal connection with slavery is exposing the Republic there will be few indeed who will insist that the decree which brings the connection to an end either could or ought to have been further deferred.

The interests of humanity have now become identified with the cause of our country, and this has resulted not from any infraction of constitutional restraints by the government, but from persistent unconstitutional and factions proceedings of the insurgents, who have opposed themselves to both.

Mr. Seward to Mr. Dayton. October 8, 1862. – Revolutions seldom admit of exact regulation. This insurrection is an appeal by force not merely to reverse a regular popular judgment, but to overturn the tribunal which pronounced it. I admit the importance of moderation on the part of the government. I think that all the world will agree that the government has thus far practised that virtue to the largest possible extent. It has, however, produced no abatement of the ambitious designs of the insurgents. It is manifest that they prefer a common ruin, a complete chaos, to any composition whatever that could be made under any auspices. Nor does the case admit of offers of composition on the part of the Union. It is a question between the existing and only possible constitutional system of government and a resolution of society here into small, distracted, and ever-jealous belligerent states. Other unusual elements enter into the motives of the conflict, and popular passions inflame them into a white heat. It is impossible not to see that the conflict between universal freedom and universal slavery, which has been so long put off, has come upon us at last in the form of a civil war, and that the parties are marshalling themselves under the banners of the Union and of the insurrection, respectively. Wlio has ever seen mediation or compromise arrest a conflict of that nature when brought to the trial of arms? No such conflict was ever ended but by exhaustion of one or both of the parties. Does it require a great discernment to see on which side exhaustion must first occur? Does it require much loyalty to our institutions, or much faith in virtue, or much trust in the guidance of a beneficent Providence, to enable us to believe that that exhaustion must be rapid and complete enough to bring about a return of that portion of our people which has been misled to the constitutional government, which alone can maintain peace, preserve order, and guarantee practical freedom to all the members of the state ? Where are we now? The Union is distracted, but it is not broken nor even shaken. It still maintains its authority everywhere, with local exceptions, as before. It still maintains its place in the councils of nations. It has only begun to draw upon its l'esources and its forces. The insurrection is without position at home or abroad. It has nearly exhausted its resources, and it is bringing into the field the last armies available by conscription. No revolution, prolonged without success, escapes the avenger of faction among its movers. That avenger is even now upon the heels of the movers of the insurrection, and it appears with terrors such as failing revolutionists were never before compelled to turn upon and confront. Let any statesman look into the elements of society in the Gulf or revolutionary States, and see what else than universal

ruin of society can result from longer war against the Union. What else than the protection of the Union, duly accepted, can arrest that desolation, or restore safety even then to property, liberty, and life.

Mr. Seward to Mr. Dayton.

October 20, 1862. — It is desirable that the views I am now to express should be understood as official, and that, with such reserve as your discretion may deem proper, they may be made known to the French government. For this reason I do not draw under review the unofficial conversation with Mr. Thouvenel which you have related, but I base these intimations upon information of a general character which has reached this Department.

The effect of this information is that Great Britain and France are seriously considering the question of recognizing the insurgents of this country as a sovereign state. Of course, the grounds of such a proceeding must involve a conclusion that the insurgents have shown their ability to maintain a national independence. We now know, although it was for a time studiously concealed from this government and the American people, that so early as the reverses which befell our army in front of Richmond, the insurgent leaders projected and began to prepare a campaign with the very comprehensive purpose of invading the loyal free states by armies which should occupy and permanently establish themselves in the loyal border states of Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri. In this way Philadelphia and New York were to be menaced, while Baltimore and New Orleans were to be captured, and this capital was to be reduced to capitulation. We know also that the project of this campaign was confidentially communicated to parties in Europe who sympathized with the insurrection, and who became active in furnishing aid, arms, and supplies for its execution. We know further that from a natural impulsiveness, if not from deep design, the emissaries of the insurgents excited very sanguine expectations of the success of their proposed campaign in the principal European cabinets. We have learned further that, besides enlisting under the influence of that excitement many persons of assumed importance as advocates of a recognition of the insurgents, a great pecuniary speculation in cotton was opened to others who might be moved by mercenary inducements to lend their aid to the same conspiracy against the United States. Chimerical as this scheme seemed to

calm observers here while it was being developed through the manæuvres of the insurgents, it nevertheless borrowed a certain measure of probability of success from the surprise it excited, from inaugural military advantages gained in the region of Manassas, and from a seeming, though unreal, dilatoriness of the loyal states in sending forward the new levies for which the President had called. Tbe apparent depression thus manifested here of course was observed in Europe, and doubtless it went far to fortify the . sanguine expectations of the success of the anticipated campaign which prevailed there. Those expectations thus reached such a height that all Europe was seen actually looking for nothing less than the surrender of Washington and the dissolution of the Union, when it received, through the telegraph, the very different intelligence of the defeats of the insurgents at South Mountain and Antietam. In view of these facts, this government was not at all surprised when it heard, through the despatches of its representatives in the European capitals throughout the months of August and September, that confident expectations were prevailing there of an early recognition of the independence of the insurgents, and that. European statesmen, assuming that recognition to be imminent, were benevolently engaged in considering what substitute they could propose to the United States for the loss of their venerated and invaluable Federal Union. It does, however, surprise the President that the expectations of a recognition of the insurgents are still lingering in European capitals, in view of the disappointment and failure of the campaign, which by its successes was to prepare them for that hostile measure.

Waiving the temptation to bring military events singly into a tedious review, it will be sufficient on this occasion to say that the military and political situations in this country are in perfect contrast with the imaginary ones which were expected to win the advantages of European intervention. Instead of being in possession of or threatening Philadelphia and New York, and occupying Cincinnati, Louisville, New Orleans, Baltimore, and Washington, the invading armies of the insurgents in the east, in the west, and in the south, are in retreat before the national forces, and as rapidly as possible evacuating all the loyal border states. On the first of July last the government had retained from the first the entire occupation of all those portions of the Union which had not been in

the beginning betrayed into the secession movement; and it had also regained so many of the forts, rivers, and positions, which were thus at first betrayed, that by the general consent of all observers, the revolt was deemed as practically suppressed. The projected insurgent campaign has been put into a train of military execution, and although that train is perbaps not yet ended, enough has occurred to prove the entire failure of all its objects. Not one important strategic point which the government held in July last has been lost. It is still in possession or in control now, as it was then, of the coasts, the rivers, the lakes, the marts, and the forts of the country, and, except by luck and adventure, no enemy of the United States can leave the country, and no ally of the insurgents can enter it. Such is the military situation now.

What are the prospects of the insurgents? Their credit and resources are practically exhausted. With a floating debt of four hundred millions, represented by paper which is at a discount of seventy-five per cent., they have neither received, nor have they the means of raising, a revenue equal to ten millions, in any form, applicable either to the defraying of present expenses or the payment of interest on existing or future obligations. Their armies were raised by conscription, which left them no reserves. Those armies, wasted like our own by the casualties of war, are reduced to a condition of ineffectiveness, and cannot be renewed. Want and distress, hitherto unknown within the political jnrisdiction of the United States, are already disclosing themselves in fearful forms throughout the entire region occupied by the insurgents. Industry has ceased, and thrift is lost. Do the leaders even propose a new campaign to retrieve the failure of the one that is approaching its end? No; they are looking out for winter quarters, and are calculating on the chances that foreign intervention may secure for them a peace which they are as yet unwilling to ask, although unable to conquer.

What, on the other hand, is the condition of the government and the loyal people, whose cause it is defending. It has a revenue available in the precious metals of more than a hundred millions applicable to present expenses, and the interest on a national debt of five hundred millions. It is as punctual in all its payments and as solvent as any government now existing or that ever has existed. Its second army, just now entering the field, is larger than the first ; and it has a third and even a fourth army, as large as the present


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