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Robert E. Lee Portrait
Page) great many naughty people are inside, it is something to stop
somewhere and to keep some out, and your style of impropriety is not so
agreeable as some other styles.
We can hardly make a casus belli
of the Emperor's choosing his company, nor can we criticise it as unkind, or
impolite, or strange. Every respectable citizen of the United States he will
willingly receive. And what right has a man to try to present in society abroad
a person whom he would not introduce into his mother's drawing-room?
QUARRELS IN OUR OWN CAMP.
THE most unpleasant and
discouraging sign in
Washington is the asperity of feeling and expression among
those who should be friends. A quiet spectator of events and persons in the
capital finds himself asking whether gentlemen are not much more bent upon their
own way of success than upon success itself. A member rises to speak, and he
addresses himself to the horizon beyond which dwell his constituents, and where
the public opinion is to be affected, which is most essential to himself; but he
entirely overlooks the men around him with whom he is to act.
Take the splitting-point of the
Congressional debates as an illustration, the treatment of the system of
slavery. Upon the abstract question of its character, and upon its precise
relation to the origin of the rebellion, Mr. Lovejoy, Mr. Diven, and Mr.
Mallory, for instance, will hardly agree. Upon the constitutional question of
emancipation they will certainly differ. But assuming them to be in good faith
devoted to the permanence of the Government, they can as certainly agree that
nothing shall stand between it and absolute victory.
If Mr. Lovejoy frankly and fairly
concedes that the liberty of the press may be restricted and the writ of habeas
corpus arbitrarily suspended in the hot whirl of civil war, to the end that the
liberty of the nation, which is the permanent guarantee of all constitutional
rights, may be preserved—certainly Mr. Mallory can not insist that a rebel shall
enjoy the service of his slaves, which is a direct practical aid to rebellion,
nor can Mr. Diven claim that nothing shall be done to destroy that assistance
until after the rebellion, of which it is a vital prop, is suppressed.
The whole question now is, in a
sense, military not moral. Mr. Lovejoy may rejoice that by means of lawful
military measures slaves shall be freed. Mr. Mallory may regret that the
maintenance of the Government requires the rupture of what he considers a
desirable relation between slaves and masters. Mr. Diven may be sorry that the
question could not be left to be solved under the normal operation of the
Government. But they must all, of necessity, defer their private and special
views of the question and its solution to the paramount, pressing, imperial
exigency of the country.
In like manner Mr. Garrett Davis,
who loves his country and desires its salvation as sincerely as a man can, might
have spared men who deeply sympathize with him the pain of hearing him call
other men who love their country quite as much as he, but who also hate slavery,
inhuman monsters. He would think himself hardly used if Mr. Sumner should call
him by the same name. And yet Mr. Davis forces upon every intelligent mind a
bitter question—if a man is a monster because he hates slavery, what is a man
who does not? He may think it a difficult, a complicated question, when it is
inwrought in a system of society, in long habit, and profound sophistication.
But to defend it abstractly, what shall be said of a Senator who does that when
the flag of a bloody rebellion to extend it is almost visible from the Senate
It would surely be very
ungracious and untimely to press such questions now. While a formidable armed
insurrection threatens us, have we the time and the force to be struggling among
ourselves? cherishing prejudices and fostering misunderstandings. No sane man
supposes that slavery can survive the war. Mr. Diven himself declares that it
must not stand in the way of our conquest, and that he does not care if nothing
of it is left. The practical question, therefore, is not whether slavery is
right or wrong, but what shall be done with the negroes freed by the advance of
our armies ? And that is a question which the Government can not long postpone.
THINGS SETTLING THEMSELVES.
IT is a favorite philosophy of
some people that things will take care of themselves; that events are wiser than
men; and that Providence is sure to have its way. All this kind of remark is
merely the way in which selfishness states the Mohammedan creed of pure
fatalism. "I will never consent," said Mr. Webster in 1850, " to re-enact the
law of God." "I trust," said
Mr. Seward, "that no laws will ever be passed in
this chamber that do not re-enact the law of God." And there was all the
difference between an old and a new era in the two statements.
What we call "things," when we
say that they take care of themselves, is merely the course of human action. The
"logic of events" is simply the rational sequence of intelligent action. Did our
independence take care of itself? Did Magna Charta take care of itself? Did the
Reformation of Luther take care of itself? If Luther had said: "Oh! don't
trouble yourself to support me or my doctrines—this thing will take care of
itself," he would have uttered both a truism and an absurdity. For clearly, in
the world which God governs, nothing happens which He does not will, for Satan
can never circumvent him. But, on the other hand, it is a part of the method of
His government that men should struggle to establish what they believe. Trust in
God and keep your powder dry, are essential parts of the same wise advice. A man
who truly trusts in God understands that God works by means, and that powder is
sometimes one of them.
Thus it is that nothing is
settled except by settling it. A ship comes to no port if she be not
steered. Ships do not steer
themselves, and winds are not wiser than men. Winds are but means which human
wisdom may control, or which, uncontrolled, will be stronger than human folly.
No question of this war or of any other will settle it, self, any more than the
guns will load and fire themselves. Every point has to be seriously met and
considered. Would the money question settle itself? Would the question of health
and discipline settle itself? Would the Quarter-master's department settle
itself? If no food were provided the soldiers would certainly beg, borrow, or
steal something to eat. But that is not the settlement intended.
So we have to regard the
condition and future of the slaves who fall within our control. The problem is
not to be solved by the whim of this General, and the prejudice of that. There
can not be thousands, and presently millions of people who have no recognized
status, hanging around and within the lines of the army. That is not a question
which will settle itself, except most disastrously for all concerned. If the
slaves of rebels are to be actually released, it is of the utmost importance
that every body know it, and that the Government deal directly and intelligibly
with the facts. If they are to be retained as property and restored, equally
there is a paramount necessity of knowing that, and of establishing the proper
methods. There is plenty of mud in the field, and it would be terrible to have
all our ideas, intentions, and methods stuck in the mud. Granting, for instance
(which it is ludicrous to suppose, in view of the Declaration of Independence),
that proclamations are only waste paper, and that you can do nothing in this
matter until our lines advance, now that our lines have advanced, and we have
thousands of cases to treat, what is to be the treatment?
THE English papers, under the
Mr. Russell, the Times correspondent, are very fond of saying that
the United States Government is a Government of newspapers. This is not true as
he states it, and as he would have it believed—namely, as a terrorism, or threat
of imminent popular violence. But it is true as meaning that in this country,
more than in any other, a public man may gather from the papers the temper of
public opinion upon any question; and as ours is a Government of public opinion,
he will be very apt to give to the voice of the newspapers a grave importance.
Thus, last summer, the cry of "On
to Richmond!" was not merely the motto of a paper, it was the cry of a very
general popular impatience. And it will hardly be denied that it had influence
in the resolution to advance. But obviously a newspaper may insist upon an
individual conviction or policy until by mere force of iteration it may seem to
be the feeling or desire of others—and so far appear to be public opinion.
And just here lies the great
responsibility of a newspaper. For he only is an honorable editor who takes care
that all that is said in his columns about persons or things shall be as true or
as probable as circumstances allow him to determine. Whims, and whiffs of
rumors, which are always defiling the air, he will carefully exclude. For
Mrs. Lincoln is a Kentucky woman, he will not assume that any
mere report affecting her loyalty, which might be whispered in Washington or
elsewhere, is worthy of repetition. Nor because somebody told somebody who gave
somebody the wink that the President daily goes down cellar and lashes
slaves with his own hands, will a fair editor call it "news," and print it. Nor
will he afterward, when he is called upon to explain, say that the story came in
the same way that other news came, and how can he discriminate? If he can not
discriminate, he is not fit to be an editor.
The only way of peace and justice
is resolutely to disbelieve injurious reports until they have some better
foundation than print.
WE have had the Prestidigitateur
and the Zampillaeronaut, and now we have simply and concisely the Nutt. At last
General Tom Thumb is outgeneraled. He is beaten by a smaller man. The glory
rests with the Navy, at Barnum's Museum. And Barnum himself has vindicated his
fame as still the greatest showman of the age. It is not a Nutt hard to crack,
but it is one well worth seeing. In fact, the Museum is full of interest. There
can be no more gratifying gift to any intelligent child than a ticket to the
Nutt and the Hippopotamus; and every such child must of course be accompanied by
an intelligent elder, who can seize the opportunity to see the wonders of the
land and sea, which are collected by Barnum. His Museum is not a humbug.
HUMORS OF THE DAY.
LEARNING FRENCH.—A young lady
studying French, and finding that " belle" meant " fine," told somebody in a
letter that we had a great deal of belle-weather lately.
What is the connecting link
between Secessionism and ruin?—DAVIS' STRAITS.
"Oh, pray let me have my own way
this time," said a young officer in one of our Irish volunteer regiments about
going South, as he attempted to force a kiss from his dear Biddy. " Well,
Willie, I suppose I must this once; but you know that after your return and we
are married, I shall have a Will of my own."
"Did your fall hurt you?" said
one Patlander to another, who had fallen from the top of a two-story house. "
Not in the least, honey; 'twas stoppin' so quick that hurt me."
"I am afraid, Sir, you are in a
settled melancholy." "No, Madame, my melancholy won't settle; it has too much
Dear old Mrs. Crakker says that
if woman had not caused man to commit his first sin in eating, no doubt he would
very soon have sinned of his own accord in drinking.
A VERY PARTICULAR YOUNG MAN.—Old
Mrs. Harris was never regarded as a paragon of neatness; and if "cleanliness is
next to godliness," it is to be feared that the old lady never attained to the
latter state. Not only was she any thing but neat herself, but showed a contempt
for it in others. Speaking of neat people, one day, she remarked that her son
Josiah was one of the most particular men in the world. " Why," said she, " he
threw away a whole cup of coffee, the other morning, because it had a
black-beetle in it."
The preacher who spends his
nights in writing dull sermons stays awake to put his hearers to sleep.
Charles Lamb once said to a
brother whist-player, Martin Burney, whose hands were none of the cleanest,
"Martin, if dirt were trumps, what a hand you'd have!"
He who is false to present duty
breaks a thread in the loom, and will find the flaw when he may have forgotten
A LEGAL FABLE.—Two weasels found
an egg. "Let us not fight about it," said the elder weasel, " but enter into
partnership." "Very good," said weasel the younger. So taking the egg between
them, each sucked the either end." My children," said Redtapes, the attorney,
"though you have but one client between you, make the best of him."
A hen-fancier lately procured a
picture of a favorite fowl, which was so natural that it laid on his table for
A man of fast habits is a man of
lax morals; he plays the game of fast and loose.
ON Tuesday, February 4, in the
Senate, Senator Sumner, chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, reported a
bill authorizing the appointment of diplomatic representatives to the republics
of Liberia and Hayti. The resolution relative to the command of the Department
of Kansas, and calling on the Secretary of War for the orders and directions in
regard to supplies for that command, and whether it is to be commanded by
General Lane, and whether the orders have been changed since General Lane left,
and whether the order of
General Hunter is according to the orders of the War
Department, was taken up. Senator Pomeroy said the resolution was offered in
accordance with a suggestion from the Secretary of War, whereupon it was
adopted. The bill providing for the construction of twenty iron-clad steamers
for the coast-defense was discussed, and recommitted to the Committee on Naval
Affairs. The debate on the resolution relative to the expulsion of Senator
Bright was then resumed, Senators Browning, Dixon, Doolittle, Willey, Davis,
Sumner, and others participating in the discussion.—In the House, the debate on
the Treasury Note bill was continued by Messrs. Morrill, of Vermont, and Roscoe
L. Conkling, of New York, in opposition to the clause making the Government
paper a legal tender.
On Wednesday, February 5, in the
Senate, the West Point Academy Appropriation bill was passed without amendment.
A resolution calling on the President for the recent correspondence regarding
the presentation of American citizens at the Court of France was adopted. The
bill defining the pay and emoluments of officers of the army was taken up, and
the amendments of the Military Committee adopted. After some debate by Senator
Sherman the bill was laid aside, and the consideration of the resolution
relative to the expulsion of Senator Bright was resumed. After debate, and a
speech by Senator Bright in his defense, the resolution of expulsion was adopted
by a vote of thirty-two to fourteen.—The House was occupied in discussing the
Treasury Note bill.
On Thursday, February 6, in the
Senate, Senator Harris presented a petition for the abrogation of the
Reciprocity treaty between Canada and the United States. A bill allowing the
Corporation of Washington to issue small notes was introduced and referred. The
bill defining the pay and emoluments of army officers was taken up. Senator
Sherman offered an amendment reducing all salaries, mileage fees, and contingent
expenses, which, after considerable discussion on the questions of taxation,
expenditures, and retrenchment, was adopted. Senator Doolittle offered an
amendment reducing the mileage of members of Congress fifty per cent., which was
agreed to—yeas 29, nays 10. Senator Howe moved to strike out the ninth section,
which reduces the pay of the soldiers and sailors. This was defeated, only two
Senators voting in the affirmative. Senator Howe then moved to recommit the
bill, and pending the question the Senate went into executive session.-In the
House, the debate on the Treasury Note bill was resumed and concluded, and the
bill, with the legal tender clause retained, was passed by a vote of
ninety-three to fifty-four.
On Friday, February 7, in the
Senate, the bill appropriating ten millions of dollars for the construction of
twenty iron-clad gun-boats was passed. The Treasury Note bill was received from
the House, and referred to the Finance Committee. The bill authorizing an
additional issue of ten million dollars of demand notes was passed. The Civil
Appropriation bill was passed. A report of the Naval Committee, with reference
to Mr. Morgan's purchase of vessels for the navy, and censuring the Secretary of
the Navy for his action in the matter, was discussed. Senator Wilson moved, as a
substitute for the report, the declaration "that the employment of an agent to
make purchases for the Government, whose compensation depends upon commissions
on purchases, is unwise, inexpedient, and never to be resorted to except in
cases of imperious necessity." Pending this motion the subject was laid over. A
joint resolution, giving the thanks of Congress to
Captain Dupont and his
officers and seamen for the victory at
Port Royal, was adopted. The Judiciary
Committee reported that Senator Starke, the Senator from Oregon, whose loyalty
has been questioned, was entitled to take the constitutional oath. A minority
report was, however, presented, and the papers were ordered to be printed.—In
the House, the Treasury Note bill was, by consent, amended so as to allow the
Treasury Department, at its option, to pay the interest on Government bonds in
coin or paper. The report of the Committee on Government Contracts was taken up
and discussed. At the conclusion of the debate Mr. Holman, of Indiana, offered a
resolution censuring Mr. Cameron, the late Secretary of War, and Mr. Welles, the
present Secretary of the Navy, for their action in employing Alexander Cummings
and George D. Morgan; but without coming to a vote the subject was postponed.
The report of the Conference Committee on the bill providing for the completion
of the defenses of Washington, and the employment of Home Guards in Missouri and
Maryland, was agreed to. Several private bills were passed. Both Houses
adjourned till Monday.
On Monday, February 10, in the
Senate, the resolutions of the Legislature of New York in favor of allowing each
State to assess and collect its portion of the national tax were presented. The
bill to incorporate the Georgetown and Washington Railroad Company was taken up.
The bill was amended so as to give three per cent. of the receipts of the road
for the support of public schools, and then passed. The report of the Conference
Committee authorizing Home Guards in Missouri and Maryland was agreed to, and
the bill passed. The resolution directing the Finance Committee to inquire into
the expediency of establishing a national savings institution and Government
fiscal agency was taken up. Senator Simmons proceeded to explain the objects of
the scheme, but gave way for an executive session, during which a number of
military and civil appointments were taken up and confirmed.—In the House, the
Senate bill authorizing the issue of ten millions of dollars of demand Treasury
notes was passed unanimously. Mr. Crittenden, by unanimous consent, presented a
petition from Philadelphia, signed by the first men of that city, proposing that
on the 22d of February Washington's
Farewell Address be read in one of the Houses of Congress, by the President
of the Senate or Speaker of the House. An amendment, that the Declaration of
Secretary Stanton's order to the army after the victory at
Mill Springs, be read at the same
time, was agreed to, and the
resolution adopted. The Senate resolution authorizing the detail of three naval
officers to inspect transports in the service of the War Department was adopted.
COMPLETE SUCCESS OF THE BURNSIDE
By a flag of truce from
on 11th we learn the complete success of the
Burnside expedition at
The island was taken possession
of, and Commodore Lynch's fleet completely destroyed.
The first news of the defeat
arrived at Norfolk on Sunday afternoon, and caused great excitement. The
previous news was very satisfactory, stating that the Yankees had been allowed
to advance for the purpose of driving them into a trap.
The rebel force on the island is
supposed to have been a little over three thousand efficient fighting men.
General Wise was ill at Nag's Head, and was not present during the engagement.
When the situation became dangerous he was removed to Norfolk.
All the gun-boats but one were
taken, and that escaped up a creek, and was probably also destroyed.
Elizabeth City was attacked on
the 9th. The citizens, finding resistance vain, evacuated the place, but before
doing so set fire to the town, and when our informant left it was still in
One report says that only
seventy, and another that only twenty-five of the Confederates escaped from the
General Huger telegraphed to
Richmond that only fifty on the island escaped.
There appears to be no bright
side of the story for the rebels.
The following dispatch is taken
from a Richmond paper of 11th:
NORFOLK, February 10, 1862.
The latest news states that
Captain O. Jennings Wise, son of Governor Wise, was shot through the hip and
disabled, though his wound was not mortal. Major Lawson and Lieutenant Miller
were mortally wounded. About three hundred Confederates were killed. Our wounded
numbers over one thousand. The number of Yankees wounded is about the same.
Midshipman Cann has had an arm shot off. The other casualties are as yet
ARREST OF GENERAL STONE.
Brigadier-General Stone was
arrested in Washington on Sunday morning, 9th, at 2 o'clock by a posse of the
Provost Marshal's force, and sent to
Fort Lafayette, where he arrived on 10th.
The charges against General Stone appear to be of a very serious character. They
are embodied in the following summary: First, for misbehavior at the
Ball's Bluff; second, for holding correspondence with the enemy before and since
the battle of Ball's Bluff, and receiving visits from rebel officers in his
camp; third, for treacherously suffering the enemy to build a fort or strong
work since the battle of Ball's Bluff, under his guns without molestation;
fourth, for a treacherous design to expose his force to capture and destruction
by the enemy, under pretense of orders for a movement from the Commanding
General which had not been given.
THE VICTORY AT FORT HENRY.
General Halleck announced the
Fort Henry in a brief and graphic dispatch, in these words: Fort
Henry is ours!
The flag of the Union is re-established on the soil of Tennessee.
It will never be removed.
By command of Major-General
THE MEMPHIS AND OHIO RAILROAD
The capture of the bridge on the
Ohio and Memphis Railroad by our troops, after the surrender of Fort Henry, is
announced by a dispatch received at head-quarters from General Halleck, stating
that our troops had immediately proceeded up the river in the direction of the
bridge, sixteen miles distant from Fort Henry, and demolished all the batteries
of the rebels in their route.
INVASION OF EAST TENNESSEE.
It appears that
General Thomas is
about to invade East Tennessee at three different points simultaneously. General
Carter is to go through Cumberland Gap, General Schoepff is to advance by the
central route, and General Thomas, with McCooke's and Manson's brigades, will
cross at Mill Springs, the scene of the late victory. They will immediately
march on Knoxville, and, if successful, will take possession of the railroad,
thus cutting off communication between the rebel army in the West and the seat
of the rebel Government at Richmond.
THE BUTLER EXPEDITION.
Great activity prevailed last
week at Boston in getting off the Butler expedition. The vessels, loaded with
troops and stores, consist of the ships Undaunted, North American, Idaho, Ocean
Pearl, Wilder Farley, and Western Empire; also some steamers. The Maine
Fourteenth regiment, First Maine battery, Second Vermont battery, and Fourth
Massachusetts battery, of the New England division, were embarked and sailed
last week. The entire division will consist of about ten thousand men.
AFFAIRS IN MISSOURI.
Our news from Missouri is most
favorable. The rebel
General Price, now near Springfield, is said to have harangued his troops,
stating that they were surrounded, and should decide either to surrender or fight. They resolved to fight. Our
Generals are pressing forward with
Siegel and Asboth's divisions have reached Lebanon, while Major Wright's cavalry have advanced
thirteen miles west of that point. The brigade of General
Davis was reported to be crossing the
Osage River on Wednesday, and the advanced-guard was expected to join
Generals Siegel and Asboth at Lebanon on the following day. Price may thus feel that his position is a critical one.
OUR ARMY AT CAIRO.
There are now not less than
thirty-five thousand troops at
Cairo, and preparations are actively going on for
the great Mississippi expedition. Some delay has been occasioned by the want of
men for the gun-boats; but they have recently been filling up very fast with
sailors from Chicago.
REBELS BACKING OUT.
The Virginia correspondent of the
Charleston Courier says " that out of the Fifth South Carolina Regiment,
numbering eight hundred men, whose term of service is about expiring, but one
hundred and seventy have signified their willingness to enlist 'for the war.' "
AT latest dates the Nashville was
still at Southampton, but it was rumored that she was ordered to quit that port.
Commander Craven, of the Tuscarora, had been accused of anchoring his vessel off
Osborne in "discourtesy" to the Queen. The gallant officer had denied the charge
in a public letter.
MASON AND SLIDELL IN ENGLAND.
The Jura brings intelligence of
the arrival of
Mason and Slidell at Southampton. No enthusiasm was manifested on
their arrival. Slidell left immediately for Paris.
SHORT TIME AT MANCHESTER.
Advices from Manchester state
that the shortening of the hours of labor in the factories is gradually
extending, and in course of the next week or two the movement promises to become
FRANCE NOT TO INTERFERE.
Louis Napoleon, in his address to
the French Corps Legislatif on the 27th, stated that although the civil war in
America compromised the commercial interests of France, yet as long as the
rights of neutrals were respected, they should confine themselves to the earnest
wish that the dissensions in this country would soon be brought to an end.