Slave Emancipation Bill Passes Congress


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, July 5, 1862

This site contains an online archive of all Harper's Weekly newspapers published during the Civil War. These newspapers will allow you to develop unique insights into the events that made up the Civil War. The illustrations present eye-witness records of this important period in American History.

(Scroll Down to See Entire Page, or Newspaper Thumbnails below will take you to a specific page of interest)


Cumberland Gap

Cumberland Gap

Before Richmond

Before Richmond

Emancipation Bill

Emancipation Bill

Memphis Post Office

Memphis Post Office

Joe Hooker

General Joe Hooker

Memphis, Tennessee

Affairs in Memphis Tennessee

Silas Casey

General Silas Casey

Fairoaks Battle

Fairoaks Battle Description





Cavalry Charge

Cavalry Charge


Charleston Approach

Charleston Approach

Captain Clitheroe

Captain Clitheroe

Negro Cartoon

Negro Cartoon








JULY 5, 1862.]



(Previous Page) take military possession, for instance, of Nashville. The moment I was established I would order an election. The ballots should be printed 'Union' and 'Disunion.' The election should be absolutely free. No coercion should be attempted. Every man's name should be recorded as he delivered his ballot, and his vote with it. Then I would carefully examine them all; and every man who voted for disunion should be hung—every man."

Secesh listened with open mouths.

"Then," continued he, " I would advance to the next city, and pursue the same method. The third city would be unanimous for the Union before I reached it."

General Butler evidently proposes to develop Union sentiment in New Orleans in a somewhat similar manner; not indeed by indiscriminate hanging, but by showing no fear of resorting to that extremity upon proof of dangerous guilt.

War is tragical business. Whoever appeals to it as a remedy must be very sure that his grievance hurts more than the cure. This is the lesson General Butler is teaching. War, at its best, has no amenities. What are called so are actions that are not warlike. War is essentially brutal; it is the appeal to superior physical force. The amenities of war are the interpolations of humanity, because men can not be altogether brutes.

It is a terrible thing that a criminal should be hung, but it is much more terrible that thousands of brave and honest men should die of ghastly wounds and frightful pestilence because that criminal, and men like him, have, without a decent pretext even, drawn the sword and forced society to defend itself. A man hanging from a window is an argument such persons can understand. Loss of life, of limb, of property, of liberty—this is war, this is the tribunal to which these persons appealed. It is for wisdom to determine how much life, limb, property, and liberty shall be lost. Human experience shows that a fierce rebellion once subdued by arms is finally most effectually suppressed by punishing the leaders and pardoning the followers. Mumford was hung for precisely the same reasons that Davis, Beauregard, Cobb, Benjamin, Floyd, Walker, Randolph, Lee, and the rest would be hung. If they should be pardoned, Mumford should have been.


THE London Times is confessedly the peculiar organ of John Bull. It defended and justified this rebellion in every way so long as it had a chance of success. The rebels were taken at their own valuation. They were a high-spirited, refined, and generous people, struggling for liberty against a brutal lust of power. The day of darkness for the insurrection comes, and behold the value of John Bull's sympathy! Contemplate the high-spirited, refined, and generous soldiers of liberty (see A. H. Stephens's speech) as now painted by their great ally the Times:

"Thus have fared the secession agents in their own chosen field of action—European agitation. Their adversity is entirely unconnected with the fortunes of war. Their manoeuvres began at least half a year before any State seceded; and this correspondence bears earlier dates than that of any Confederate reverse in the war. They are a set of ignorant, narrow-minded, conceited slaveholders, and agents of slaveholders—infirm in judgment and reckless about truth, as slaveholders get to be in all countries and all times. They despised the strength of the Free States, not understanding the causes of that strength; and they partly blinded themselves, in the desire to blind others, to the weakness of their own enterprise. Though their defeats in the field had not begun, they must have been more or less discouraged by their own failure to obtain support in Europe, even by such reckless promises and such delusive representations as they did not scruple to offer; and now the exposure of their correspondence through the press must crown their mortifications."

Is it wonderful that every nation in the world so dearly loves John Bull?


THOSE who are so profoundly troubled at the eternal difficulty in executing the Fugitive Slave Law would profitably spend a moment in answering the question, Why is it always so difficult? There are people who seem to think that no man can possibly have a real love of his country, of the Union, and of constitutional liberty, if he does not rush with the utmost glee to the enforcement of this law. A hundred years ago it was the English law in Ireland that if a son informed against his father as a papist, his property should be taken from him and given to the son. It was the law of Herod that all children under two years of age should be murdered. Don't you think the people of Jerusalem would have shown their good citizenship by running round and stabbing each other's children?

There is no need of taking leave of common-sense in any question. A law is not necessarily a good or wise or honorable regulation because it is law; and wherever it violently contravenes the moral instincts of the people it will become obsolete, even if it be not repealed. Cruel or unjust laws—those which the popular heart rejects—can never be easily enforced. In a despotism or monarchy they will lead to rebellion if the attempt is persistently made. In a popular government like ours they will fall into desuetude by common consent, and will at last be repealed.

To return a helpless, hopeless, innocent man to a worse condition than that which he risks his life in trying to escape, can not possibly be made decent, honorable, gentlemanly, humane, or manly. But it may be law—and obedience to law is essential to the peaceful existence of civil society. What, then, is to be done? How are we to maintain the authority of law and yet avoid doing a mean injustice? This is the question that has perplexed many a sincere and candid youth in this country—in Boston, say, ten years ago, when he shouldered his musket and, with crimson cheek and accusing heart, escorted Anthony Burns back to the slave-whip. It is a terrible law, he said; but if law is not enforced where are we?

And yet the solution is easy. Law is obeyed either by following its behest or suffering its penalty; and in this country, where discussion is free and the people make the laws, if there be a bad law—not an inconvenient law, but a wicked one—the duty of a good citizen is, not to invoke anarchy by violent resistance to it, but while he bears the penalty of disobedience, to exhort other citizens to do the same, and to show why the law should be changed. Thus he shows respect for the authority of law, yet keeps his hands and heart pure.

Take the Fugitive Slave Law as an illustration. Of course every honorable man would as soon strike his mother because the law ordered, it as run after a fugitive. If he were summoned he would say, as Henry Clay did, that he was a man not a blood-hound. If he were charged in the name of the law to assist, he would say, "I yield to the penalty, and so acknowledge the authority of law." If he were imprisoned, and the law were executed by protesting soldiers, how long before a law which honorable men repudiated, and which only military force could execute, would be repealed or become obsolete? Washington once sought to recover a fugitive slave, but finding that the claim produced popular excitement, he begged that it might not be pressed. Why? Because he knew that this law, unlike other laws which affect only material interests, touched the moral instincts.

If those people at the North who own no slaves, and who think that the eager return of fugitives is the grand bond of union in this nation, were as wise as Washington, who did own them, and in this case reclaimed one, they would see why it is so difficult to execute such a law. It is a matter of feeling which every honorable man understands. Among an intelligent, prospering, moral, free, and therefore law respecting, people, the execution of a cruel law is constantly more and more impracticable, and that fact is an unerring sign of the stability and security of that people.


THIS book is as remarkable as the speech of the author at the Academy of Music, of which we have already spoken in these columns. It is the fiery record of the sufferings of a true-hearted American citizen guilty of loving his country, and reveals the essential character of the rebellion. It also shows in its trenchant vituperation, its deep, bitter craving for retaliation, the influence and consequence of the social condition in which the writer was born and has lived. No man can read it without a renewed vow that this unholy insurrection against law, humanity, and liberty, shall be utterly crushed at any cost. Nor is there any work whose universal circulation among the mass of Northern and loyal citizens would be more inspiring and valuable than Parson Brownlow's book.


PITTS'S PROPOSAL.—Pitts is a fast man, a sharp man, and a man of business tact. When Pitts goes to make a purchase, he always gets the lowest cash price; and then says, "Well, I'll look about, and if I don't find any thing that suits me better, I'll call and take this." Pitts, like all fast men, is partial to the ladies, young ones in particular. Now, lately, Pitts says to himself: "I am getting rather long in years, and so I'll marry." His business qualities wouldn't let him wait; so off he travels, calls upon a lady friend, and opens conversation by remarking that he would like to know what she thought about his getting married. "Oh, Mr. Pitts, that is an affair in which I am not very greatly interested, and I prefer to leave it with yourself." "But," says Pitts, you are interested; and, my dear girl, will you marry me?" The young lady blushed very red, and hesitated; finally, as Pitts was very well to do in the world, and of good standing in society, she accepted him. Whereupon the matter-of-fact Pitts responded: "Well, I'll look about, and if I don't find any body that suits me better, I'll come back."

Dandies and nanny-goats never fail to pride themselves upon their kids.

"My wife tells the truth three times a day," remarked a jocose old fellow, at the same time casting a very mischievous glance at her. "Before rising in the morning, she says, 'O dear, I must get up! but I don't want to.' After breakfast site adds, 'Well, I suppose I must go to work, but I don't want to; and she goes to bed, saying, ''There, I have been passing all day, and haven't done any thing!

PAT'S MODE OF AVOIDING THE SOCIETY OF MOSQUITOES. —He hangs a lace net entirely over his bed, gets inside of it himself, cuts a little hole in it just big enough to admit one "varmint" at a time, makes believe to be asleep, and when

"The whole troop, pioneers and all,"

get through, Pat stops up the hole with a piece of putty, creeps carefully out under the bar, and sleeps undisturbed, for the remainder of the night, upon the floor!"

If your friend goes into a speculation, don't, because he happens to break, break with him.

FOUR WORDS TO THREE.—A Gascon officer, who had served under Henry IV without receiving any pay for a considerable time, came to the king, and confidently said to him, "Sir, three words with you, money or discharge?" "Four with you," answered his Majesty; "neither one nor other!"

A BAD SPELL."Thomas, spell weather," said a school-master to one of his pupils "W-i-e-a-t-h-i-o-u-r, weather." "Well, Thomas, you may sit down," said the teacher. "I think this is the worst spell of weather we have had since Christmas."

"Isn't your hat sleepy?" inquired a little urchin of a gentleman with a "shocking bad one." "No; why?" inquired the gentleman. "Because I think it's a long time since it had a nap," was the answer.

The crow is a brave bird; he never shows the white feather.

"All's well that ends well," said the monkey, contemplating his beautiful tail.

There is a man in Dublin who is so aristocratic that he has cut his own acquaintance.

THE BEST WEAPON.—One of the benchers of Lincoln's Inn being often affronted, and at last challenged by a bully, told him, "I am old, and past fighting, yet I shall meet you, and shall bring my own weapons." The next morning he accordingly came with his own weapons, two constables, whom the fellow seeing, ran away, and never troubled him more.

Some women paint their faces, and then weep because it doesn't make them beautiful. They raise a hue—and cry.

RESOLUTION THE BEST OMEN.—A general who led out his army against Tigranes, was told it was an unlucky day. "We shall alter it," said he.

A LADY'S AGE.—A lady observed, "I am thirty years of age." A gentleman answered, "It must be true, for you have told me so these twenty years."

The bow of a ship is not evidence of its politeness.

We have ever found that blacksmiths, by conversing with them, are more or less given to iron-y, and somewhat addicted to vice. Carpenters, for the most part, speak plane-ly, but they will chisel when they get a chance. Not unfrequently they are bores, and often annoy one with their old saws.

"Nothing is certain," is a common aphorism; but if nothing is certain, how can it be certain that nothing is certain?



ON Tuesday, June 17, in the Senate, the Military Committee reported back the bill providing for an increase of the medical corps of the army. Senator Chandler, of Michigan, offered a resolution, which was laid over, that the amount of legal tender notes already authorized by law shall never be increased, but the Secretary of the Treasury be, and he hereby is, authorized to issue "ten-day certificates," bearing five per cent. interest, in addition to the fifty millions already authorized by law. The Pacific Railroad bill was then taken up. After some discussion, an amendment was agreed to fixing the point of commencement of the road on the one hundredth parallel of longitude, within the Territory of Nebraska.—In the House, the Select Committee on Confiscation reported to the House Mr. Potter's bill, designating what classes of rebels shall forfeit their slaves; but no further action was taken on the subject. The House then went into Committee of the Whole on the bill to authorize the issue of additional Treasury notes, and Mr. Spaulding, of the Committee of Ways and Means, explained its provisions. The House concurred in the Senate's substitute for Sir. Arnold's bill, which forever prohibits slavery in the Territories now existing, or which may at any time hereafter be formed or acquired. The Senate bill donating lands to the States and Territories for the establishment of colleges of agriculture and the mechanic arts was passed by a vote of eighty-nine to twenty-five. The House then adjourned.

On Wednesday, June 18, in the Senate, the bill for the better government of the navy was reported back by the Naval Committee. A joint resolution, that Congress finally adjourn on 30th inst., was laid over. Senator Hale introduced a bill providing that, when necessary to make further enlistments, the President is authorized, by proclamation, to call on all persons, without distinction of race, color, or condition, to enlist in the army. The bill further provides that every slave enlisted under such proclamation of the President shall be ever thereafter free, and entitled to all the bounties, privileges, etc., of other soldiers in the army. Referred. The bill to prevent a further issue of legal tender notes, and authorizing the issue of one hundred millions of ten-day certificates, bearing five per cent. interest, was referred to the Finance Committee. The Pacific Railroad bill was then taken up and discussed until the adjournment.—In the House, the Senate joint resolution giving a bounty of two dollars each for every enlisted soldier, and the first month's pay in advance, was adopted. The bill emancipating the slaves of certain rebels was passed by a vote of eighty-two against fifty-four. In Committee of the Whole the bill authorizing an additional issue of Treasury notes was discussed till the adjournment.

On Thursday, June 19, in the Senate, the House bill to change the port of entry of Brunswick, Georgia, was passed. A motion to take up the resolution fixing the time for the final adjournment of Congress was disagreed to by a vote of 14 against 22. The bill fixing the pay and emoluments of officers of the army was taken up, and the House amendment, striking out the section deducting ten per cent. from the pay of all military and civil officers of the government during the war, and reducing the mileage of Congressmen fifty per cent., was concurred in by a vote of 29 to 12. The consideration of the Pacific Railroad bill was then resumed, and continued till the adjournment.—In the House, Mr. Lehman tendered to the government, as a free gift, on behalf of the city of Philadelphia, League Island, as a site for a navy-yard. The property cost $310,000. A resolution that Congress finally adjourn on the 30th inst. was adopted by a vote of 103 against 28. The Select Committee on the Defense of the Northern Lakes reported a bill establishing a national foundry at Chicago, and naval depots and yards on Lakes Erie, Michigan, and Ontario. Referred.

On Friday, June 20, in the Senate, a bill granting the proceeds of certain lands to the Pacific Railroad Company was referred. The Pacific Railroad bill was taken up. A motion to strike out the section providing for four branch lines at the eastern terminus was rejected—15 to 25—and the bill passed by a vote of thirty-five against five. The Senate then adjourned.—In the House, the Chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means reported a bill increasing temporarily the duties on imports and for other purposes. It was referred to the Committee of the Whole, and made the special order for Wednesday. Several private bills were passed, and the House adjourned till Monday.

On Saturday, June 21, in the Senate, several petitions in favor of a bankrupt law were presented and referred. A bill opening post-offices in the insurrectionary districts was passed. The House bill prescribing the oath to all persons holding office under the Government was taken up and dismissed till the adjournment.—The House was not in session.

On Monday, June 23, in the Senate, petitions in favor of the passage of a bill confiscating the property of rebels, and asking Congress to extend the protection of the Government over all loyal people in the rebel States, without regard to color, were presented and referred. The Committee on Territories reported a bill for the admission of Western Virginia into the Union. The bill prescribing an additional oath of office to all persons in the service of the Government, except Members of Congress and the Vice-President, was passed. The report of the Conference Committee on the Tax bill was agreed to. The House Confiscation bill was then taken up. A motion was made to substitute the Senate bill, as reported by the select committee on the subject, and pending the question the Senate went into executive session, and subsequently adjourned. —In the House, Mr. Lovejoy asked leave to introduce a bill amendatory of the District of Columbia Emancipation act; but objection was made, and the subject was laid over. The resolution declaring Charles Henry Foster not entitled to a seat as representative front North Carolina was adopted. The House then went into Committee of the Whole, and resumed the consideration of the Treasury Note bill. An amendment to the first section, providing for the issue of $150,000,000 of United States notes, not bearing interest, payable to bearer, $100,000,000 of which may, in the discretion of the Secretary of the Treasury, be of a lower denomination than five dollars, was adopted by a vote of fifty-seven against forty-five. The Committee then rose, and Mr. Stevens presented to the House the report of the Conference Committee on the Tax bill, and the report was agreed to. The House then adjourned.


From the papers of Richmond and Charleston we have accounts of a terrible battle fought near Charleston, on James Island, within four miles of that city, on Monday 16th, in which a body of Union troops and some gun-boats were engaged. Judging from the statements of these journals we think that there can be little doubt that the battle at James Island was a great Union victory, which will result in the capture of Charleston before long. The Charleston Mercury, in recounting the story of this battle, represents it as an utter defeat of the Union troops. But it also predicts the fall of the city, and has sent its own printing-press to Columbia, South Carolina.


The expedition which proceeded up the White River from Memphis, several days since, for the purpose of removing

the obstructions to its navigation, has been heard from. The expedition consisted of the gun-boats St. Louis, Lexington, Conestoga, and Mound City, and the Forty-third and Forty-sixth Indiana regiments, commanded by Colonel Fitch. On the 17th the expedition reached St. Charles, 85 miles above the mouth of the river, where two rebel batteries were found, mounting seven gums, and supported by a force of infantry. The gun-boats engaged the batteries, while Colonel Fitch landed his forces some two and a half miles below, and advanced to make an attack. During the action a rifled shot from one of the rebel batteries penetrated the steam draw of the Mound City, and the escaping steam killed and disabled most of her officers and crew. Colonel Fitch then signaled the fleet to cease firing while he made an assault, and the batteries were carried by his troops in the most dashing and gallant manner, and with no loss of life. The rebel infantry were driven from the support of the guns, the gunners were shot at their posts, their commanding officer, Freye (formerly of the navy), was wounded and taken prisoner, and eight brass and iron guns, with ammunition, were captured. The enemy's loss in killed and wounded is estimated at 125. Our loss was caused solely by the escaping steam on board the Mound City. The boat was expected to be repaired and ready to proceed with the expedition the next day.


The Secretary of War received a dispatch on 19th from General George W. Morgan, dated at camp near Cumberland Gap, June 18, eight o'clock in the evening, which states that his army commenced its march at one o'clock that morning to attack the enemy at Cumberland Gap; but on their arrival it was found he had evacuated that very important position, his rear-guard having left only about four hours before the arrival of our advance. General Morgan praises the conduct of his division, in its arduous march through an extremely difficult country, and says that his cannon were dragged up the precipitous sides of the Pine and Cumberland mountains by the aid of block and tackle, two hundred men being employed on the ropes of a single piece. In his progress considerable skirmishing with the enemy had taken place; but without any loss on our side. This important position, which has been held by the rebels since the beginning of the war, is now in possession of our troops.


The latest reports from the vicinity of Corinth state that General Beauregard's army was at Okolona, 80,000 strong. Twenty thousand men, under General Kirby Smith, are at Chattanooga. Fifteen thousand men, under General Price, are at Fulton; and General Van Dorn, with a small force of cavalry, is at Grenada.

The Richmond papers of Saturday publish a dispatch from Montgomery, Alabama, dated the 17th inst., stating that General Beauregard and his staff had arrived there on his way to Richmond, and that a large portion of the army of the Mississippi was to follow him, leaving a considerable force behind under General Bragg.


The rebel batteries at City Point, on the James River, below Fort Darling, opened fire on our fleet on 17th; but the gun-boats returned it so briskly with shell and shrapnel that the batteries were soon silenced, and the rebels retired.


General Lewis Wallace is in military command of Memphis, Tennessee, and has taken possession of the Argus office, a notorious rebel sheet. He has placed two competent men to supervise its future editorials. The vicinity of the city is infested with guerrillas, many of whom are engaged in burning cotton in the southern counties of Mississippi and other points. Trade in Memphis is rapidly improving. Boats going north are filled to their utmost capacity with passengers and freight.


A Union meeting was held on the 14th inst. in the Lyceum, City hall building, New Orleans, which was attended by all that the room could accommodate, and was addressed by old residents of the city. After the meeting a procession was extemporized, headed by a band of music and the national flag, and proceeded to the head-quarters of General Butler, where three cheers were given, and the General called out to address the crowd. The Stars and Stripes had also been raised at Gretna, on the other side of the river. Business affairs were gradually improving.


Letters from New Orleans contain an account of the execution of William B. Mumford, the man who pulled down the American flag on the day of the arrival of our fleet before New Orleans, after it had been run up on one of the Government buildings by some of Commodore Farragut's men. The execution was witnessed by a large concourse of people, who, at its conclusion, retired quietly to their homes.


General Schofield has taken stringent measures to repress the guerrillas in Missouri. He has issued an order holding the rebel sympathizers in that State responsible in their property and persons for all damage done to citizens by marauding parties. He announces that $5000 will he exacted for every Union soldier or loyal citizen killed, and from $1000 to $5000 for every one of either class wounded by any guerrilla party. The full value of all the property destroyed will be assessed and collected from the secessionists residing in the locality where the outrage may be committed.


The Newbern Progress states that six regiments in the rebel army from North Carolina have been disbanded at Richmond for their loyalty to the Union, and are at present under guard as traitors to the Jeff Davis bogus Government. Before being disbanded it appears that they hung the brigadier-general who commanded them.


General Halleck, by General Order No. 33, dated June 12, constitutes the States of Kentucky and Tennessee, east of the Tennessee River, except Forts Henry and Donelson, and such portions of North Alabama and Georgia as are, or may be occupied by our troops, into the District of Ohio, under General Buell, who is ordered to relieve the troops of General Grant's command at Clarksville. The District of West Tennessee will include all that portion of the State west of the Tennessee River, and Forts Henry and Donelson.


In answer to a resolution passed several days ago by the House of Representatives, inquiring whether General Hunter had raised a negro regiment, Secretary Stanton says that the Department has no official information on the subject. He further says that General Hunter has not been authorized to raise such a regiment, and that, in order to ascertain whether the information is true, a copy of the House resolution has been transmitted to him to report upon,


The Secretary of War has issued a bulletin giving effect to the law recently passed by Congress, granting a premium for enlisted men, regular or volunteer, and one month's pay in advance to each recruit.


Key West correspondence shows the the value of the British and "secesh" ships and cargoes captured by the United States blockading squadron, during the twelve months past, runs up to nearly $2,000,000, an item which will go some length to counterbalance the cost of carrying on the war on the coast, and to recompense our gallant tars.


An important change has been made in the Medical Staff of the Array of the Potomac by the appointment of Surgeon Litternan, a skillful physician, as Medical Director of General McClellan's army.

A dispatch from Boston yesterday announced that Pierre Soule and the late Sheriff of New Orleans had arrived there, and had been confined in Fort Warren. Our local columns, however, contain the account of the incarceration of the two persons in question in Fort Lafayette, in New York harbor.




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