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BEAUFORT AND THE ESCAPE OF THE REBEL STEAM-SHIP "NASHVILLE."
WE devote the
to an illustration of the escape of the rebel steamer Nashville, at Beaufort,
Immediately upon the capture of
General Burnside started an expedition to
Beaufort. The expedition left Newbern on Thursday, 20th, in steamers, and went
partially down the river, and on landing struck the railroad, and took up the
march for Beaufort, with hand-cars front Newbern loaded with ammunition and
baggage. A few days before the gun-boat
Stars and Stripes went outside and
assisted the blockade, lest the Nashville might try to escape to sea when the
troops come inland.
Upon the arrival of the
expedition the first report stated that they found the city evacuated by the
rebels, Fort Macon Mown up by the retreating enemy, and the rebel steamer
Nashville burning to prevent her falling into our hands. Later accounts, direct
from the blockading squadron, however, say that the Nashville ran the blockade
General Burnside then sent a
force with several gun-boats to
Washington. No opposition was made to landing.
Our troops occupied the town, and the
Union flag is flying on the Court-house.
Our pickets extend about eight
miles from Newbern toward Goldsborough. The inhabitants of Newbern are gradually
returning to the town and taking the oath of allegiance.
We subjoin a CHART of the Harbor
of Beaufort, North Carolina.
THE Publishers of Harper's Weekly
congratulate their readers upon the appearance in Number 272 of the first part
of a new serial tale entitled "No NAME," by WILKIE COLLINS, Esq., author of "The
Woman in White." Its opening gives promise of the same wonderful power and
matchless dramatic skill which entranced the readers of "The Woman in White." It
is seldom that a periodical is enabled to furnish its subscribers with such a
series of attractive tales as have appeared consecutively for the past two years
in Harper's Weekly, from the pens of Dickens, Wilkie Collins, and Bulwer. The
commencement of this Tale affords a good opportunity for parties residing in the
country to form clubs, and obtain Harper's Weekly at the reduced price of
The circulation of Harper's
Weekly being now over 120,000 copies each week, it is the best advertising
medium in the country.
SATURDAY, APRIL 5, 1862.
THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT ON
THE American public have read
with lively satisfaction the candid and honest speeches of
Earl Russell, Mr. W. E. Forster, and the
Solicitor-General of England on the subject of the blockade of the Southern
ports. The tone of the leading British presses has been so uniformly unjust to
the United States, and so notoriously under the control of secessionist
emissaries, that there were many here who feared that Great Britain would be as
false to her traditions and her laws on the subject of blockades as her people
had been on the subject of
slavery. These apprehensions have not been
fulfilled. Members of the British Government have declared in the most positive
terms—what we all knew here long ago—that the blockade of the Southern ports is
as perfect as any blockade ever was, and that no foreign power can disturb it
without flying in the face of the fundamental principles of international law.
The pleasure with which we record
these evidences of official candor in England would have been greater if they
had not been followed, in almost every instance, by the expression of opinions
unfavorable to the success of the North. It is natural that British statesmen
should cling to their cherished hope of seeing this country divided and
weakened. But is it wise, is it
friendly, to proclaim the wish so
constantly to the world? What would be said of a tradesman who was constantly
predicting aloud the bankruptcy of his rival over the way? Would he not be set
down as a dirty, mean fellow? Would it not have been better for Lord Russell to
have left this sort of thing to Gregory and Ferguson, and other blacklegs and
TO DO WITH THE
SENATOR DOOLITTLE made
substantial progress in the slavery argument when he stated, the other day, that
he would never vote for
colonization, though the Senate, by
the casting vote of the Vice-President, has decided in the opposite sense. With
the exception of the crazy people down South who are being whipped into reason
by the armies of the Union, every body now agrees that, sooner or later, in one
way or another, slavery ought to be abolished on American soil. The main
question thus decided, it is high time that the people began to think of and
discuss the questions yet undetermined of the how and the when.
We have two historical
precedents—that of Great Britain and that of France. In the year 1833 the
British Parliament passed an act emancipating the slaves in the British West
India Islands, with compensation ($100,000,000) to the owners; the act was only
to take effect in 1838. In 1848 the revolutionary Government of France with a
stroke of the pen freed all the slaves in the French West Indies: no
compensation was granted to the owners, and the act took effect immediately.
These two plans of emancipation
were carried under the most diametrically opposite circumstances. Emancipation
in the British colonies had been brought before Parliament every year for twenty
years, and only succeeded at last through the support of London bankers,
creditors of the slave-owners in Jamaica and Barbados, who saw in a
parliamentary grant their only chance of collecting the debts due them. The
measure was adopted after full deliberation, and five years were granted the
slaves and their owners to prepare for the change. In France emancipation was
decreed from the impulse of the moment, without outside pressure from any
quarter, and without preliminary notice of any kind to the parties immediately
So far as practical results show,
the French scheme succeeded better than the English. The British colonies began
to decay after emancipation, relapsed almost into a desert condition, and have
only begun to recover very recently. The French colonies have undergone but
It would, however, be rash hence
to infer, that immediate and unconditional emancipation works better than the
gradual and conditioned
abolition of slavery. Emancipation worked badly in the
British colonies mainly in consequence of the besotted and imbecile nature of
the white slave-owners. With stolid pigheadedness, they refused to accommodate
themselves to the new condition of things; haughtily declined to pay wages to
the colored laborers who had once been slaves, and sank into ruin with their
estates for want of common sense. Slavery had rotted their hearts and minds out,
as it has done with the whites of several of our Southern States; and the
failure of emancipation, for nearly a quarter of a century, was due to their
stupidity. The slave-holders of the French islands, on the contrary, with their
national versatility, adapted themselves at once to the new order of things,
paid wages cheerfully to the emancipated slaves, and went on growing tropical
products as before.
In neither case was it proposed
to expatriate the slaves after emancipation, and both British and French
colonies, since the abolition of slavery, so far from seeking to get rid of the
negroes, have complained loudly of the want of labor. The Jamaica government has
even tried to import free negroes from the United States.
In studying these precedents it
must be remembered that the slaves in our Southern States are at least ten times
as numerous as the slaves in either the British or the French colonies. They now
exceed four millions in number, and men now living will, in all probability, see
the colored race on this continent more numerous than the entire population of
the country at the present time.
It is pretty well understood that
President Lincoln agrees with Senator Doolittle
in advocating colonization of the blacks. This is the Western plan. Illinois has
always refused citizenship to free persons of color, and Western men generally
object as much to free negroes as to slavery. Those who have read "Sewell's
Ordeal of Free Labor in the British West Indies," will understand this
prejudice. In Jamaica and Barbados the mulattoes are steadily gaining power and
influence, and the end can not be mistaken. The white race must eventually go to
the wall. To avoid this result, Mr. Lincoln, Mr. Doolittle, Mr. Blair, and those
who agree with them, propose to colonize the negroes of our Southern States—to
send them to Hayti, or Central America, or somewhere else.
To be effectual this remedy must
be thorough. The entire four millions must be exported.
Let us assume that the National
Legislature adopts the colonization scheme, and decides to carry it into effect.
To carry the 4,000,000 slaves now in the Slave States to a foreign port would
require at least 8000 vessels of 1000 tons each—in other words, all the large
sailing vessels in the world for a couple of years. The cost of transportation
alone, assuming that the place of disembarkation were in the West Indies or
Central America, could not fall short of $100,000,000. It would likewise be
necessary to support the 4,000,000 slaves so exiled for at least one year in.
their new abode, which could not well cost less than $100,000,000 more. The
moment they were sent away our
Southern States would raise the cry which has
been raised by the British West Indies ever since emancipation—for more labor.
Cotton, sugar, and rice plantations would go to ruin for want of labor.
Prosperous regions would relapse into wilderness, and we should be driven, as
the maritime nations of Europe have been driven, into adopting systems of coolie
and negro immigration. In the mean while, under the fostering influence of a
tropical sun, a negro empire would be rearing its head menacingly somewhere on
our Southern border. This empire would number 10,000,000 souls in 1875, and
30,000,000 in 1900. Would not such a neighbor be more dangerous than any of the
perils which we have tried to ward off by adopting the Monroe doctrine?
We have said nothing of the
probability that the negroes would object to be exiled, and of the monstrous
difficulty of exporting 4,000,000 human beings against their will. This is an
obstacle which could be surmounted, though to overcome it would involve much
expenditure of money, time, and energy.
We offer no theories on this
vital question, and are content to throw out a few facts by the wayside for the
consideration of the people. Soon enough it will devolve upon us to decide upon
a policy in regard to these negroes. Let us be prepared to act with a full
knowledge of past history, present circumstances, and future prospects. It will
not do to be led by passion or prejudice in the matter. Our action will
determine the weal or woe of many generations of white people on this continent.
On the face of it, the problem appears to be one of unparalleled difficulty—none
the less because its true bearings are so constantly obscured by the fanatic
teachings of partisans of naked material interest on the one side, and of
abstract moral principle on the other. But we shall have to solve it some day.
HOW WILL YOU DO IT?
IT is certainly tiresome to keep
on exposing absurdities and errors; but if we were to be satisfied with a simple
denial and exposure of untruth, then —not to put too fine a point upon it—the
devil would have his own way easily. All that falsehood wants is to be let
alone. It is all that treason wants—all that any crime wants.
The present error that cries
aloud for reiterated correction is the querulous complaint—"What is the use?"
Suppose you beat 'em wherever they make a stand. Don't you see they all run
away? On the shores of the Potomac—in the Virginia Valley—at Newbern—they all go
off with the army, except the old people and the slaves. Come, now, you may
beat, but you can not conquer. They may hold out, but they can not secure their
independence. It is as broad as it is long. Sooner or later you've got to
Compromise what? What is there to
compromise? Here are a crowd of rebels, organized, drilled, intrenched,
resolute, who defy the Government of the nation. Either they must succeed in
bringing the Government to terms, or the Government must reduce them. If they
can compel the Government to agree that they shall obey upon certain conditions,
then they are successful, and the Government is overthrown. Suppose that South
Carolina agrees to cease active hostility upon condition that she shall have the
forts in her harbor, and that the United States will allow her to disregard the
tariff? Or suppose that
Jeff Davis says that he still do what he can to
disband the rebel armies, on condition that the Administration will agree that a
slaveholder may take and hold his slaves any where in the country? In that case
Jeff Davis merely dictates terms to a conquered enemy. If you will do this, he
says, I will lay down my arms; if not, I'll fight on. -
Besides, practically, Jeff Davis
is but a single rebel. He may make his own terms; but how can he bind any other
rebel? And the Administration of our Government may accept terms which the next
Administration may repudiate. So that the war is only suspended; and only
suspended because neither side has conquered.
There can be no compromise,
because there are no grounds for a compromise. A compromise belongs to peaceful
legislation. Equal legislators say to each other, If you will favor me in this,
I will favor you in that. That is a compromise. But if two commanders meet at
the head of armies, and one says to the other, "If you will give me your arms
and go home I will not fire," and the other assents, that is not a compromise,
it is a surrender, a bloodless victory. Or suppose, in the midst of the fight in
Hampton Roads, the
Merrimac had said to the
Monitor, "Let us each turn about and go home;"
that would be a compromise. But what would be settled by it? Each would only
have waited for the other to come out again.
In our war we have to beat
absolutely, or to be absolutely beaten.
RHODE ISLAND LINE.
"WHEN the charge of the Fourth
Rhode Island had been made, and the colors were carried along the whole length
of the main battery, General Burnside asked some one what regiment that was. On
being told the Fourth Rhode Island, he said, 'I knew it. It was no more than I
expected. Thank God, the day is ours!'" .
It is just about a year since the
election in Rhode Island made William Sprague for the second time Governor of
that State. He was a young man—the son of a great cotton manufacturer, from whom
he had inherited a large fortune, and from his father and uncle the control of a
large business. He had returned a year or two before from Europe, when the John
Brown enterprise was still exciting the country, and had been selected as a
moderate and uncommitted candidate for Governor by a coalition of the moderate
but committed political leaders of the State. He was elected; and during the
Presidential campaign was regarded as a Lincoln man of the palest possible hue.
So very pale, indeed, that when, last spring, he was elected again, over a
radical Republican candidate, the result was regarded as a half-Southern
triumph, and was so hailed, we believe, by George Sanders, an eminent Democratic
doctor of the school which holds that rich men ought to own poor ones.
Mr. Sprague had military
tastes—he was commander of a mounted company in Providence before he was
Governor—and when the rebellion unmasked itself at Sumter, Governor Sprague, of
Rhode Island, was the first to telegraph to the President that he would march to
Washington with a thousand men at a moment's warning. Thus he telegraphed
himself into a national reputation; and when his words were made good—when the
First and Second regiments of the State, under Colonels Burnside and Slocum—the
bright flower of Rhode Island youth—passed fully equipped to Washington, and
stood steady through the dark day at Bull Run, side by side with the New York
Seventy-first, while Governor Sprague dashed about the field upon his horse,
insensible to fear, and the calm, sagacious, heroic Burnside directed the
brigade—then the name of the young Governor became fully known, and his personal
pluck was praised by all men.
The year has passed and the
patriotic readiness of the little State, symbolized by the prompt dispatch of
her Governor at the beginning, has been always and every where maintained. She
had two regiments at Bull Run, one at Port Royal, one at Roanoke, and two at
Newbern; and to-day she has three in the field and one in camp in the District,
unless it has moved with M'Clellan. She has sent to the war five regiments of
infantry, a regiment of cavalry, besides several batteries. Nathaniel Greene is
not dishonored by his children, and Perry long ago uttered the battle-cry of the
Rhode Island line, "We have met the enemy, and they are ours!"
And you, brave boys, who have
marched and shall return no more—you, passing in a moment from heroic life to
honored death—you shall be the inspiration and the strength of those who remain
end share the victory you helped to win. Sacred shall your names be, and sweet
your memory. And many a wandering brother of yours, whose heart is not less
faithful than your hearts were to the dear old native State, reads with tears of
pride and sympathy the story of your valor, and thanks God that he too is a
A TERRIBLE SCHOOLMASTER.
IF the tone of the rebel
newspapers indicates the condition of the public mind at the South, it is
profoundly gloomy. A loud cry of peril rings through newspapers and
proclamations. Governor Pettus, of Mississippi, invites volunteers, and
announces that he has authority to draft. Governor Moore, of Louisiana, declares
that "an insolent and powerful foe is at the castle gate." S. Choppin, the
"surgeon of General Beauregard's staff"—portentous name—cries, in an appeal to
the soldiers of New Orleans, that "greater disasters still are staring us in the
General Beauregard himself telegraphs that he
"will accept all good equipped troops;" and poor Governor Harris, of Tennessee,
informs volunteer companies of that State where they may rendezvous. The
Charleston Mercury complains that "a large submission sentiment was developed"
at Nashville when
General Buell arrived. The Government of North
Carolina establishes Police Courts upon the sea-board to have charge of
criminals and slaves; to inflict such punishments and to arrest such white
persons as they may think that the public safety requires.
In Savannah a draft has been
made; while the question is asked, in correspondence from Richmond, "Shall the
cause fail because Mr. Davis is incompetent? The people of the Confederacy must
answer this plain question at once, or they are lost." Meanwhile a correspondent
wails in response from the army. "The death-like torpor which hangs like a spell
over our beleagured country will speedily accomplish our ruin unless dispelled
at once and forever. * * Will no one speak and break the spell ere we drift to
Governor Pickens, of South Carolina, declares
upon the 5th of March, that if certain volunteer regiments are not formed by the
20th, "then a conscription will be made to meet the balance of the requisition,"
The Paulding Clarion—a newspaper in some Mississippi village—declares that "It
is now to do, and do at once, or our cause is dead, and we are hopelessly lost;"
and thereupon exhorts the faithful to "imitate the Carthagenian women, who cut
off their hair to make ropes for their vessels."
The cry of danger is universal.
The rebellion has evidently .a sickening sense of incompetency somewhere. The
Yankee mudsills whom "Southern gentlemen" were to mow down by the hundreds, and
who were to turn and run like sheep before the "chivalry" bred of pone and bad
whisky, are suddenly found to be men conscious of their cause and of their
power. The contempt of Northerners on the part of the "gentlemen" of Mississippi
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