Harper's Weekly 07/25/1863


THE LOUNGER.



THE QUESTION.

The slaveholders in this country having waged
a desperate war against the constitutional govern-
ment of the people for the sole purpose of perpetu-
ating slavery, and having come to grief, it is now
proposed by some excellent jesters that the victori-
ous people of the United States shall agree to per-
petuate slavery. Having seen a social and polit-
ical system plunge us by its necessary develop-
ment into war—having seen the war destroy the
system, and the country emerge from the field vic-
torious, these witty persons propose that we give
the enemy all that they have been fighting for, and
consent to re-establish slavery.


But for what purpose? Why should we do it?
That the slaveholders may make no more trouble.
But did they not have slavery before, and did they
not make trouble? Oh yes, but they were afraid
it would be meddled with. And will they be any
the less afraid hereafter? And if before they re-
belled and showed their true colors, slavery was so
meddled with that they tried to destroy us, now
that we have seen exactly what slavery is and have
repulsed their efforts, are we likely to hold our
tongues?


It is not a question of wishing to marry negroes,
or having negroes for Presidents and Governors,
or liking negroes in the abstract. The question is
simply whether the loyal people of this country,
after the experience and revelations of this war,
and the long, bitter disgrace of our latter subserv-
ience to the insolent dictation of slaveholders for
the purpose of keeping the peace, are inclined to
submit to that subservience and dictation again,
after they have subjugated the Dictator. Subserv-
ience to slavery could not prevent the war. That
is clear. Is subservience to it likely to keep the
peace hereafter?


That is the question which offers itself for “set-
tlement.” And the jesting gentlemen ought to remember
that the people have evidently made up
their minds that the war is no jesting matter.
They have already answered the question. The
Government, which is the Constitutional expres-
sion of the popular will, has already emancipated
most of the slaves. By the act of the United States
those people become not our sons-in-law, nor our
bosom friends, nor our rivals in labor, nor voters,
but they become citizens of the United States.
What State law, then, can enslave them?


REBEL EXULTATION.

The rebels' feeling of their pinched and perilous
condition is curiously revealed by the fierce and
frantic exultation of their papers upon the supposed
“magnificent victory” of Lee at Gettysburg. The
wild scream of delight with which they hailed the
news was like that of a flock of unclean and starv-
ing birds over a lion's carcass. It was the vio-
lent outcry of reaction. The fury with which they
gloat over the probable desolation of the Free
States is the indirect testimony of the disaster and
despair which they knew must be at hand if they
did not win the battle in Pennsylvania.


Inspired by the glittering delusion of a victory,
they shout that Pennsylvania is now to be laid
under contribution. Philadelphia is to pay millions
for its ransom. Washington, “that foul den of
thieves, is expecting the righteous vengeance of
Heaven for the hideous crimes that have been done
within its walls.” Which remarks, considering
that Washington has been the head-quarters of
the slave-drivers, who are now rebels, for the last
thirty years, are a clear case of fouling one's own
nest. “Lincoln and his rascal ministers are turn-
ing pale.”“Cincinnati would, we are assured,
burn well…..peopled by as God-abandoned sons
of Yankees as ever killed a hog.”“Ohio has
towns to ransom and fertile plains to sweep of
flocks and herds.”


And as for the prisoners which Lee took at Get-
stysburg, the forty thousand Yankees, they must
not be suffered to eat the food which rebels re-
quire. Let the guard that attends them on the
march be supplied largely with cartridges and a
few light guns, “so that, on the first sign of insub-
ordination, the prisoners may be slain without
mercy.” And let the Yankee captives bring their
own food with them. And let them be encamped
in the mountains with batteries commanding them,
“and as it is summer weather they will need no
shelter.” In the same spirit a Southwestern rebel
paper asked in the middle of June:


“Why not hang every Dutchman captured? We will
hereafter hang, or shoot, or imprison for life all white men
taken in command of negroes, and enslave the negroes
themselves. This is not too harsh. No human being
will assert the contrary. Why, then, should we not hang
a Dutchman, who deserves infinitely less of our sympathy
than Sambo? The live masses of beer, krout, tobacco,
and rotten cheese, which, on two legs and four, on foot
and mounted, go prowling through the South, should be
used to manure the sandy plains and barren hill-sides of
Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia…..Whenever a Dutch
regiment adorns the limbs of a Southern forest daring
cavalry raids into the South shall cease…..President Da-
vis need not be specially consulted; and if an accident
of this sort should occur to a plundering band like that
captured by Forrest, we are not inclined to believe that
our President would be greatly disgruntled.”


In the midst of all these frantic flourishes ar-
rived the address of Lee to his troops, announcing
that they had failed; also the news of the retreat
of Bragg; also the fall of Vicksburg; also the
Union victory in Arkansas. The whole horizon
flamed with disaster. By the ghastly light the
rebels have already read the words of the exult-
ant Richmond Inquirer in a new and appalling
sense: “Peace will come to us only in one way—
by the edge of the sword.”


GENERAL BUTLER UPON RECONSTRUCTION.

At the late loyal meeting in Concord, New
Hampshire, when the Postmaster-General Blair
made a very foolish speech, Major-General Butler
made a very wise one. It was a concise and con-
clusive review of the situation; and throughout
remarkable for that trenchant common sense which
annihilates sophistry and seizes the heart of the
matter; a characteristic which made a Louisiana
slaveholder and Unionist, who until a few weeks
since was never upon free soil, say that if General
Butler had been left in command at New Orleans,
Louisiana would already have returned to the
Union as a free State—a result which the gentle-
man considered speedy, inevitable, and desirable.
Although a slaveholder and by no means of great
faith in the willingness of colored men to work
without the lash, it was clear, he said, that if the
Union meant to restore itself, the war meant eman-
cipation. And the views of this gentleman are
quite as valuable as those of Mr. Cottman and his
two friends, who recently asked the President to re-
establish slavery in Louisiana.


It is refreshing to hear the earnest expression of
the earnest loyalists from rebel States; and Gen-
eral Butler exactly represents them and their views.
We extract a few passages from his Concord speech.
First, as to “Democracy:”


“If there is a Democrat here—and thousands I doubt
not there are—to him I say, I am a Democrat; after the
strietest sect of that political religion have I lived a Phar-
isee. And when we point to the past for a record—I say
it here, in this bright sunlight—there is no better Demo-
cratic record than mine; and he who claims better, let
him show it.”


Then as to Slavery:

“And now let me tell you here, as my deliberate judg-
ment, founded on observation and experience, that the
question of negro slavery to-day is as much a dead issue of
the past as the United States Bank. That thing is ended.
Whatever may be the future of this country that thing is
ended, and no man except those who go back to pick up that
which is behind need trouble himself about that issue.”


Finally, as to settlement:

“First, drive out the military power that now holds the
States, the five hundred thousand men there. Drive out
the leaders; send them to Mexico, if you choose, to make
a proportion of Louis Napoleon's army; send them any
where; get rid of them. My friends, there are too many
to hang; we have a right to hang them, but many things
that are right are not expedient. Send them away; get
rid of them; extinguish them so far as the land is con-
cerned. It must be so; because we could not live with
them in peace when they were friends, and can we live
with them as enemies? And when that is done, and loyal
men ask to come into the Union to become a portion of this
great empire, we can admit them precisely as we have ad-
mitted Western Virginia, and as I hope we shall soon do
Louisiana. Having got rid of those men who assume to be
leaders, we can reconstruct the Union, and, my word for
it, my friends, bear with me or against me, as the case
may be in the future, in that way only is there to be any
reconstruction of the Union. And when the nation is re-
constructed, when its laws are extended over all that great
territory again; when instead of having our attention di-
verted and driven now as it is to the question of war, we
can bring the whole energy of the public mind and the
whole talent of the public statesmen of the country to this
question, then will be the time when we can deal with and
settle, in the providence of God, to our satisfaction and to
His, this great question of what is to be done with the Af-
rican race. Before that time, in my judgment, it is of
little consequence to speculate upon the negro question in
any shape. Drive Lee and his myrmidons away from the
gates of the capital, and then look after the African. You
see I am ending as I began—end the rebellion, and get rid
of the suspension of habeas corpus; end the rebellion, and
get rid of military arrests; end the rebellion, and get rid
of military power; end the rebellion, and become re-
united; end the rebellion, and then settle the question of
the African. [Applause.] Let me be understood—and I
think it is best—if it is the best way to use the African
for the purpose of getting rid of the rebels, use him. [Ap-
plause.] But deal with him not as the end, but as the
means; not as a result, but as an instrument in our hands,
placed there by God, for the protection of this country in
this hour of her peril.” [Continued applause.]


GENERAL GRANT.

A Friend in St. Louis writes: “Grant is a
working man. Years ago he married in St. Louis,
resigned his situation in the army, turned farmer,
and drove his own team into St. Louis with wood.
In his recent march (in May) he was three days
on foot, with his rations and baggage, leading his
men, not being willing to delay until his horses
should come up. Such a man must succeed.”


MRS. KEMBLE'S JOURNAL.

The admirable London correspondent of Child's
Publishers' Circular, in his copious summary of
new books, writes of Mrs. Kemble's Journal, just
published by the Harpers:


“Last, but not least, is `Journal of a Residence
on a Georgia Plantation in 1838-39,' by Frances
Anne Kemble—a book which will do more to dam-
age the cause of the South in this country than
any thing that has yet appeared. It is the narra-
tive of a truth-loving, kind-hearted English gentle-
woman; and without attempting to paint slavery
blacker than it is, such a picture is drawn of mis-
ery, degradation, and cruelty, that one shudders
to think that beings calling themselves Christian
men and women can for a moment misquote their
Bibles to uphold such a devilish institution.”


SAUCE FOR THE GOOSE IS SAUCE FOR THE
GANDER.


Down to the very day of Lee's defeat the cor-
ruption, incompetency, and hopeless imbecility of
the Washington authorities were incessantly de-
cried and denounced. Presaging disaster, the Cop-
perheads, who wear a mask of loyalty, took care
in advance to hold Washington intermeddling, stu-
pidity, and treachery responsible. Washington
influences had spoiled every thing. They had de-
moralized the army. They had caused the defeat
of M`Clellan on the Peninsula, and of Burnside and
Hooker at Fredericksburg. They were the ruin
of the cause, and nothing was to be hoped until
they were expelled.


The battle of Gettysburg was fought and won.
Now if that bugbear, and paralysis, and in-
carnate blunder, the “Washington authorities,”
were responsible for all the Virginia campaigns,
they are not less responsible for the campaign in
Pennsylvania under their very noses. If the dis-
aster is their fault in the one case, the success is
their glory in the other. If they are to be the
scape-goats of M`Clellan's failure, they must like-
wise be crowned with Meade's triumph.


The truth is that it is idle to hold any man or
influence solely responsible for the event of a cam-
paign. Certainly no battle has been more splen-
didly fought, and no success is more vital than that
fought and won at Gettysburg. It has brought to
shame the proverb that the further from Washing-
ton the surer the victory. It ought to bring to
shame all of us, of any party, who, for want of suc-
cesses in the field, have fallen to unlimited abuse
of the Administration. Is General Meade any less
illustrious than General Grant? Does any body
believe that either have been seriously thwarted
by the authorities? Yet the authorities were
abused just as fiercely as ever down to the 4th of
July, and we shall always hear that Washington
interference defeated us in Virginia. But if it
saved us in Pennsylvania, is it worth while to call
it such hard names?


REBEL AFFECTATIONS.

It is said by the Richmond Despatch that
“Vice-President Stephens” was going to Wash-
ington to inform the Government of his country
that if the private property of rebels was not re-
spected the rebels would retaliate. Now, consid-
ering that “Vice-President Stephens” is a ring-
leader of rebels who stop, seize, and burn defense-
less ships upon the high seas, which, in every code,
is pure piracy—and considering that the same reb-
els have announced their intention to hang with-
out delay the officers of certain national regiments
because they don't like the color of the soldiers, it
is tolerably cool for them to talk of the retaliation
to which they will be forced by our cruelty.


But this assumption of dignity and scrupulous
regard for the rights of war is part of the game of
the rebels and their Northern Copperhead allies.
these gentry, who have outraged all public and
private honor, and have plunged their country into
civil war for the purpose of securing immunity in
their cruel outrage of the simplest human rights,
are peculiarly fond of invoking the Divine name,
and of endeavoring to give a religious lustre to
the tragical crime in which they are engaged. But
now and then the pious veneer is worn away for a
little while, as when that eminently religious per-
sonage, Jefferson Davis, whose dignity and grav-
ity enchant John Bull, forgets that his cue is calm
superiority, and raves fiercely about preferring hy-
enas to Yankees.


When you remember that these men were so
firmly persuaded that there could be no higher mo-
tive for public or private action than the sheerest
selfishness, and that they relied exclusively upon
the utmost meanness of human nature for success
in a bloody and desolating war, waged for the pur-
pose of hopelessly oppressing the unfortunate, their
snivels of piety and affectation of regard for de-
cencies and rights become as ludicrous and con-
temptible as the object for which they are a cloak
is inhuman and loathsome.


COPPERHEAD STATESMANSHIP.

Simultaneously with the news of our success-
es the Copperhead papers of every hue broke into
a cry for “magnanimity,” and expatiated upon the
“noble opportunity” of offering terms and making
peace forthwith. Last week the conduct of the
war, in their opinion, was imbecile and treacher-
ous, leading only to disunion and anarchy; while
the rebels were strong, able, desperate, and follow-
ing the greatest of generals. Horror, blackness,
and death were all that this nation had to expect
from the contest. Every disaster was magnified by
the amiable Copperheads; every weakness jeered,
as Governor Seymour jeered at the Academy the
taking of Vicksburg, which, he said, “had been
promised us” for the 4th of July. The ruin of
public credit, general prostration, desolation by in-
vading armies, conquering marches, as of Cæsar
in Gaul, as of Alexander in Persia—these were
the pleasing pictures that gushed profusely from
the Copperhead pencil.


A battle was fought and won by the loyal sol-
diers of the country. Presto! Instead of the
most forlorn, abject, and conquered of people, we
were at once so superior and invincible that con-
science and honor compelled us immediately to tell
the enemy that he was overwhelmingly subdued,
that he could not hope to struggle with us, and
that therefore, with sentiments of the most dis-
tinguished consideration for the bravery of men
who tried to overthrow their government when
they thought it utterly unable to resist, and for
no cause but to establish a gallant nation of gen-
tlemen who could whip women at their leisure,
we begged them to take command of us in future
as they had always had it in the past.


This is the logical and natural counsel of the
statesmanship of Vallandigham and his friends.
The key of their position, in all they say or do, is
the status quo ante bellum; the Democratic par-
ty of the free States serving the slaveholding oli-
garchy of the South, doing the bidding and thank-
fully receiving the cold pieces of their masters.
These gentlemen want last year's strawberries.
They want the earth before the deluge. They
gravely expect an intelligent, honest, and resolved
people, whose eyes have been opened to an ahyss
from which they have barely escaped, to shut their
eyes tight again and play that there is nothing
there. When those people do shut their eyes and
open their mouths, Copperhead statesmanship may
give them something to make them wise—but not
before.


A STATUE BY JOHN BULL.

The rebel organ in London announces that a
statue of Stonewall Jackson, seven feet high, is to
be made, by Foley, and presented to Virginia, to
be placed in the capitol at Richmond. The Com-
mittee who have it in charge is composed of ten
“distinguished gentlemen”—five of whom are not
unknown to us in this country. Sir James Fer-
gusson is a Scotch baronet who ran through the
slave States in the first weeks of the rebellion, and
being an extreme British Tory, was delighted to
see, as he supposed, that we were undone—a fact
upon which he has patiently insisted ever since.
Mr. Beresford Hope is also of the most antiquated
school of British toryism, which would hail Jackson
as a human benefactor, merely because he did what
he could to destroy the hope of free popular gov-
ernment. Mr. Gregory is the young Irish gentleman
who periodically moves in Parliament for the
recognition of the rebels. Mr. Lindsay is largely
interested in Southern trade; and Mr. J. Spence—
the inevitable Mr. Spence—is the Liverpool com-
mercial agent of the rebels.


These gentlemen are sufficient to indicate the
character of the Committee. The object of agi-
tating for the statue is to secure the British inter-
ests involved, by prolonging sympathy for the re-
bellion. Of course it is the sublime character of
the great hero which impels them in the advertise-
ment; but, bitter as the grief may be, and pro-
found the admiration, the disconsolate widow still
continues the business at the old stand.


We miss, however, one illustrious name from
the list. Where is Hartington? He, too, has
seen the greatness of the new nation; and he has
actually done something to serve it, as none of the
others have. He wore the rebel colors in the chief
city of the Government the rebels are striving to
destroy, and in the very presence of some of the
highest military officers of the Government; and
although he was called to account by a brave and
honorable youth, who burned with the insult of-
fered to his country, he was unrebuked by his host,
who warmly reproved the youth for making a fuss
in his house. Here was a service of daring and
sagacity: first, in wearing a rebel badge within
the loyal lines; and, second, in exposing the fact
that it could be worn there without rebuke from
the person who should have been the first to resent
the insult and expel the offender. The excellent
Hartington should certainly be honorary chairman
of the Committee, and who knows that he might
not give another triumph to the rebel cause by se-
curing a subscription from his quondam host?


LITERARY.

Harper's European Guide-Book,” by W. Pem-
broke Fetridge, is an indispensable companion for
every American traveling in Europe. It is the
only one published in the United States, and the
only complete one in a single volume in the lan-
guage. It is truly valuable not only for its gen-
eral information, but for its minute directions even
to the details of fees, etc., which are always so an-
noying to the traveler.


“Eastman's White Mountain Guide” (E. C.
Eastman, Concord, New Hampshire) is issued this
year in a completer form. It is a full and accurate
hand-book of the various approaches to the White
Mountains from New York, and detailed and pic-
turesque descriptions of the scenery from various
hands, with the most ample directions as to routes,
tours, excursions, and “sights.” It is neatly and
conveniently bound in flexible leather.



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