Charles Adams


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, April 20, 1861

The April 20, 1861 edition of Harper's Weekly features extensive information on the Civil War Union Navy.  Newspaper thumbnails will take you to a large, readable version of that page.


Charles Adams

Fort Pickens

Adams Biography

Charles Adams Biography


Commander Dahlgren

Dahlgren Biography

Commander Dahlgren Biography

The Baltic and Atlantic

The Baltic and Atlantic

The Start of the Civil War

Washington Navy Yard

Washington Navy Yard

US Naval Fleet

US Naval Fleet






[APRIL 20, 1861.























The proprietors of Harper's Weekly beg to state that they have made the most extensive arrangements for the illustration of future movements at the South, and that the public may rely upon finding in Harper's Weekly an accurate and reliable picture of every scene of interest to which occurrences may direct attention.

The increasing circulation of Harper's Weekly renders it a most desirable advertising medium.


WE publish on the preceding page, from a photograph by Brady, a portrait of the HON. CHARLES F. ADAMS, who is to succeed Mr. Dallas at the court of St. James. Mr. Adams will fill one of the most important posts in the Government in the present condition of the country.

He is the third member of his family who has represented the country in England. His grand-father, John Adams, was the first American Minister to the Court of St. James: it was to him that King George the Third delivered the famous apostrophe, " I am, Sir, of all men in England, as you may imagine, the sorriest to receive you here," etc. This was in 1785. Thirty years afterward, the son of John Adams, John Quincy Adams, was sent to England, and represented the country there for two years. He took with him his son, the present Charles F. Adams, who was eight years old at the time they arrived in London and went to an English school. Report states that he took his first lessons in the manly art of self-defense from some English fellow-pupils, whose sarcasms upon the United States were more than the young Yankee could tolerate.

Mr. Adams has lived a quiet, unobtrusive life. In 1848 he was a delegate to the famous Buffalo Convention, and was chosen President of that body, a post of which he discharged the duties with credit. He subsequently published the life and writings of his grandfather, John Adams—a work of great merit, which occupies a standard place in our political literature. Two years ago he was elected to Congress. He has not been a prominent member of the House; but the first proposition for a compromise came from him : he represented Massachusetts in the famous perilous committee, and probably the most finished speech delivered in Congress on the crisis was his.

He is fifty-three years of age, and is in possession of a splendid fortune, part of which he derived from his wife.


WE publish on the preceding page a view of FORT McRAE, PENSACOLA, FLORIDA, from a sketch by an officer of Lieutenant Slemmer's command, who writes as follows

"FORT PICKENS, FLA., March 29, 1861.

"DEAR SIR,—Inclosed is a sketch of Fort M'Rae, at the entrance of Pensacola Harbor, and directly opposite Fort Pickens, from which the view is taken. It is a little more than one mile and a quarter from Fort Pickens, and about one mile and three-fourths from Fort Barrancas. It shows from Fort Pickens 44 embrasures, having two tiers of casemate guns and one en barbette. None of the latter, however, are mounted, and but few of the former.

" The fort is on an island, being separated from the main land by a narrow, shallow cut (seen on the right), made—during the gale of September, 1858—from the bay through to the lagoon, seen in rear of the fort. In one place the water reaches to the walls of the fort ; hut near the southeast corner the sand has been thrown so high by the waves as to conceal several embrasures.

" To the south is seen the Water Battery, still unfinished and without guns. To the left of this is the house of the beacon-light keeper and Beacon-light, which is now seldom lighted. The small steamboat entering the harbor is the Cushing, which is kept running night and day by the 'harbor police,' for the purpose of cutting off any sup. plies that citizens, so disposed, might send either to the fleet or fort.

"In the fore-ground is seen the western extremity of Santa Rosa Island, on which Fort Pickens is situated.

" This portion—and, in fact, the whole island—is cut up by irregular sand-ridges, some of the hillocks rising as high as fifteen or twenty feet_"



THE State of Virginia has decided not to secede; but has adopted, in Convention, a series of resolutions affirming, among other things, the right of a State to secede from the Union at will. In like manner, the State of Missouri, which is overwhelmingly opposed to secession, and the State of Kentucky, in which no Convention has been called, both declare that in the event of forcible measures being taken by the General Government to resist the dismemberment of the Union, they will take sides with the seceded States.

It seems questionable whether the continued alliance of these States, on these conditions, is an unmixed gain. If this Union of ours is a confederacy of States which is liable to be dissolved at the will of any of the States, and if no power rests with the General Government to enforce its laws, it would seem that we have been laboring under a delusion these eighty years in supposing that we were a nation, and the fact would appear to be that the several States of the Union have really been united by no closer bond than that which connects us with Great Britain and France—a mere treaty stipulation, which any of the parties were at liberty to annul at pleasure.

It is of the essence of nationality that the Government of the whole shall be obeyed by each constituent part, and that the covenants of the nation shall bind each and every section thereof. If any one part can declare itself not bound by the national laws and obligations, then no part is bound, and such laws and obligations are mere idle formalities, dependent for their force on the will of the party bound—in other words, absolute nullities. Such a government would be a mere ridiculous fiction: the sooner exploded the better.

Peaceable secession is organized anarchy. Today, it may be the election of a sectional President ; tomorrow, the passage of a bad tariff; next, the. conclusion of an unpopular treaty ; next, the creation of a large debt ; next, the declaration of a doubtful war. If the right of secession be admitted, each or any of these causes may be successfully invoked by any State to justify the repudiation of the laws, treaties, and pecuniary obligations of the government. What is this but organized anarchy?

The question, therefore, which is presented to the people of the Northern States by the people of the border States of Virginia, Kentucky, and Missouri is, whether or no they will accept organized anarchy as the normal condition of their political existence, as the price of retaining these States in the Union ?

Suppose the Pope, as the sovereign of Rome, and Francis-Joseph, as the sovereign of Venetia, were to say to Victor Emanuel, King of Italy :

" Sire, you are anxious to unite Italy under one head. On certain terms we will confederate with you. You shall give us the benefit of your laws, your army, your navy, your post-office, your national prestige, your power. You shall protect us against the foreign world, so that our citizens shall be safe wherever they go. You shall grant us the benefit of your national credit, so that the money needed for our national public works can be raised. You shall put down robbers and pirates in our midst. In return for this we will give you our allegiance as long as we please; but from the hour we decide to withdraw it you shall have no right to coerce us, or to keep us within your dominion by force."

An Italian friend suggests that Victor Emanuel would be likely to reply to this proposal by remarking that it offered him a one-sided bargain ; that a compact which could be shuffled off by one of the parties and not by the other was hardly worth making ; that if Venetia and Rome really sought admission into the kingdom of Italy, they must first admit that Italy was a nation, and that its laws must be enforced throughout its territory ; and that whatever conditions Venetia and Rome sought to make with the parent State, they must not be mentioned until the vital considerations of a stable nationality and a universal acquiescence in the authority of the general laws of the kingdom bad been settled beyond dispute.

This, in our friend's opinion, is the way the question would be viewed in Italy.


A TIMELY book, pending the present excitement on slavery in this country, is SEWELL'S "ORDEAL OF FREE LABOR IN THE WEST INDIES." Every one knows that the negroes in the British West Indies were emancipated in 1838, and those in the French and Danish Islands in 1848. The negroes in the Spanish Islands are still in a condition of slavery. Mr. Sewell spent two years in traveling through these islands, making observations, collecting statistics. and comparing opinions : the result

of his travels is to be found in the compact volume now appearing from the press of the Harpers.

Two opinions are entertained by two antagonistic sects with regard to British emancipation in the West Indies. The prevailing notion in this country is that emancipation was a mistake ; that it ruined the islands, and did not benefit the negro ; that it sacrificed the white man without helping the black. Another opinion, which is the common notion held in England, is that emancipation—with compensation to the owners—was a noble instance of national devotion to principle; that the islands were ruined, not by emancipation, but by the previous bad management and wasteful living of the planters ; and that the negroes, after idling for a generation, as was natural to a race suddenly freed from a bondage of centuries, are now slowly reviving to usefulness, and acquiring habits of labor, industry, and virtue.

The partisans of both these onions will find material to sustain their views in Mr. Sewell's most conscientious and dispassionate work. That the author has opinions of his own there can be but little doubt. He writes, however, so impartially that we are inclined to think that both the slavery and the anti-slavery leaders will, on the strength of isolated passages and statements, claim him as an ally.

The work will doubtless furnish material for a library of controversial essays on the vexed question.


THERE are no States in the Union or out of it which are so deeply interested in the maintenance of peace, order, and good government as Maryland, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Missouri. For of all the States, Nature has done most for them. God created them the garden of the continent. Blessed with a soil of unusual fertility, and a climate exquisitely adjusted between the extremes of heat and cold, they enjoy the advantages of both the northern and the southern meridians, and have, if their people do not prevent Providence, a greater future than any other part of the country. They can grow every thing, from the northern potato and apple to the southern cotton-plant, the grape, and the fig. Their soil overlies miles of ores of various kinds, iron, gold, copper, lead, and coal. They stretch in an unbroken line from the great waters of the interior to the great ocean which washes the continent. If they maintain public order and good government, their latitude must render their railroads the great avenue between the West and the East. Their climate is so admirable that it is a miracle they have not absorbed the whole population of the continent. To a dweller in frozen Michigan or torrid Louisiana, life under the genial sun of Virginia seems a dream of impossible bliss. In the shade of the grand old woods of that noble State, with no winter snow-storms, no summer dog days, no deadly epidemics, no frightful struggle with nature for existence, but just such a rotation of seasons as gives a relish to each, and tempts the earth to bring forth her regular increase, GEORGE WASHINGTON beguiled his declining years with visions of the future glories of his native soil, and of the possible pre-dominance of the Potomac over all other rivers of America. Can such a State seek to emulate the destiny of the desolate regions in Mexico and Central America, to which God, in His Providence, was originally as bountiful as to her ?


Is there any thing better than dollars ? Actual dollars, bankable, redeemable in gold on presentation ?

" No, Sir," says our old friend, COTTON PORK, Esquire, " there is not. Young people talk sentiment about honor, and principle, and patriotism, and that sort of thing; but there is nothing reliable in the world but dollars." And Cotton Pork is sincere. He acts up to his principles. He married a sickly, cross-grained wife whom he did not love, but who had dollars, in preference to a sweet girl whom he loved—as far as he could—but who had none. He commits acts in business daily which are not honorable, and some traduce him therefore ; but what matters it? he makes dollars. He marries his daughter to a life of misery and probably crime —for dollars. He starts his son in partnership with a rogue—for the sake of dollars. He is for his country if dollars are on the country's side; otherwise he crawls on his belly to lick the feet of the enemy who offers him dollars. As he says himself: " Honor, patriotism, principle, affection, delicacy—all these are debatable matters : one man sees them in one light, another man in another; but no man disputes that a dollar is a dollar, and worth one hundred cents, if bankable. No, Sir."

Cotton Pork is a Northern man. Mostly from New England, though often transplanted to New York, and doing well in our climate. Some varieties of his genus have been tried at the South, but they don't thrive there. They can't stand so much sun.

At the South—an odd region—dollars are well

thought of, to be sure, but still they don't govern. People don't measure each other on plantations by the financial foot-rule ; nor is public policy exclusively adjusted to the dollar standard. It seems ridiculous, but people talk and think much more about honor at the South than about dollars. Our friend Cotton Pork is, of course, ready to prove that they are a very deluded race ; that they don't agree even among themselves as to what honor requires; and that they would have done much better to have kept their eye always fixed on the main chance. But he don't convince them. In South Carolina they go to prodigious expense, sacrifice the trade of their port, mulct their rich men, and drive their poor out of employment ; but they stick firmly to their point of honor. In New York Cotton Pork pooh-poohs the firing on the Star of the West, demands the evacuation of Sumter, declares himself ready to vote for slavery in New York, but howls like a wild beast when he is told that New Orleans is going to import gunny cloth. In Louisiana private citizens subscribe for five millions of the new loan of the Southern Confederacy at par—knowing the prospect of the security ; in New York Cotton Pork, Esq., condescends to come to the relief of his country by taking United States Treasury notes at twelve per cent. per annum, which, as money is not worth over six, is not so very expensive patriotism.

Yet Cotton Pork is a patriot—in one way. He is dead against civil war. "What !" says he, "imbrue our hands in our brothers' blood —and knock Central down to 50? Deluge the country with gore—and put an end to our trade in pegged boots ? Spread havoc through peaceful vales—and deprive us of a market for gunny cloth ? Carry the sword and torch into happy plantations—and write off our outstanding Southern claims ? Stain the national flag with American blood—and hand over the Southern market to foreigners ? Never, never, never !" The good man's bosom warms with the theme, and he denounces fighting with the energy of a Quaker. Strange, how differently they talk down South! They spend no energy in denouncing civil war. They do not want to fight. They seek peace. But if it comes, they will make no wry faces. It will cost them much, but they utter no such philanthropic shrieks as proceed from the mouth of Cotton Pork. They seem to think that there are things worse than fighting in this world—and better than dollars. An odd people, surely.



IN the last number of Thackeray's "Philip" there is some very pleasant talk about artists, apropos of our old friend in " The Newcomes," J. J. Ridley, who has now become a Royal Academician. Thackeray has a fond hankering for art and artists. He always describes them well. He loves the Bohemian land in which they are wont to dwell. There is a freshness, a simplicity, a sweetness and pathos in the pursuit of art and the character of artists which especially interest and charm a man who is much in what is technically called the world. Besides, Thackeray's homage to the studio has a pensive regret in its tone, for he wanted to be a painter ; and they are his own sketches, the same old familiar faces, with which we are regaled in the illustrations of " Philip."

" To be a painter," says Thackeray, in the character of Arthur Pendennis, "and to have your hand in perfect command, I hold to be one of life's summa bona. The happy mixture of hand and head work must render the occupation supremely pleasant. In the day's work must occur endless delightful difficulties and occasions for skill over the details of that armor, that drapery, or what not, the sparkle of that eye, the downy blush of that cheek, the jewel on that neck, there are battles to be fought and victories to be won." And so on to the end of a pleasant paragraph. And who has not thought so a thousand times as he ascended (painters are apt to dwell near heaven) to the studio? As he passed in among the canvases and breathed the atmosphere of paint, who has not thought of Noma entering the sweet-scented wood to commune with the nymph? As he came out again, and descended to earth and walked the streets once more, who has not felt as Mignon felt wandering over Germany but yearning for Italy? What are the happy and fragrant memories of youth and travel ? Answer, Cape Greco ; answer, Lepre ; answer, hilarious nights when, as Topaz jocularly declared, all baggage was at the risk of the owner.

Thinking these things in the luxurious chair in the spacious studio, idly regarding the buffalo plunging headlong from the wall, and the butter-fly, burning spot of splendor by his side, we have not yet lifted our eyes to the picture which we have all known was painting for us : the new work of the year, which is as surely and sternly required of a famous painter as of a successful novelist. There it is, at last. It is about the size of the Heart of the Andes, but rather smaller. It is as bold a picture as was ever painted, for there is no-thing before you but air, light, and water. In the centre of the middle distance, a huge iceberg, a drifting glacier at sea : beyond it, at the left, the scene opens out into the solemn, dark distance of a sullen sea, with two distant piles and peaks of ice, leading the eye away, away, to the cloudy gloom that muffles the horizon ; while beyond it, at the right, in pale blue, luminous shadow, the shining crags, and angles, and buttresses of ice, mingle in receding obscurity—an awful gorge of



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