Black and White Equality


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, June 21, 1862

Welcome to the online edition of the Harper's Weekly newspapers published during the civil war. This archive makes our extensive collection of Civil War newspapers available to you on the internet, for your browsing pleasure. These newspapers will help you develop a better understanding of the War.

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



Corinth, Mississippi

Teaching Slaves to Read and Write

Teaching Slaves to Read and Write

Black and White Equality

Black and White Equality

Duty Calls Poem

Poem "Duty Calls"


Chickahominy River

Richmond Cartoon

Richmond Cartoon

Battle of Hanover

Battle of Hanover

Corinth, Mississippi

Corinth, Mississippi



Battle of Mechanicsville

Battle of Mechanicsville

Corinth, Mississippi

Scenes Around Corinth, Mississippi

Battle of Fairoaks

Battle of Fairoaks









JUNE 21, 1862.]



(Previous Page) party." Whenever a base and disgraceful interpretation is given to any clause of the National Constitution it is called by the same persons "the conservative view." Whenever any rigorous and radical means of suppressing this cruel rebellion are suggested, they are malignantly resisted by the same "conservative" party and papers. The persistent political allies of the rebels, like Vallandigham, Powell, Bayard, and Saulsbury, are leaders of this "conservative" movement. While the newspapers which openly supported the rebellion until the Government took it in hand, or which from their continued support of it received a very significant warning, are the organs of the same faction.

The same "Conservatives" during the last Presidential canvass solemnly warned the country that they could not allow any body but their own candidates to be elected; and they brought eminent "Conservatives" from the Southern States to confirm what they said. The same "conservative" gentry at the South when the new administration was constitutionally chosen, took up arms and have maintained a desperate and bloody war for more than a year. The same "conservative" citizens at the North are now most anxious to make compromises with their friends who are red to the neck in the blood of the brave and hardy youth of the loyal part of the land. Peace at any price, whether of civil order, of national existence, of human rights, of individual honor, or of common decency, is the heart's prayer of this "conservatism." If a man shows himself false to our common humanity, or indifferent to our national unity, they hail him as a "Conservative." If any law aims to destroy or abridge the equal rights which the Government was founded to protect, they rally to it as a "conservative" measure. If a man is faithless to the Democratic principle he is "sound." If he sneers at justice, and manliness, and honor, he is "prudent."

These gamblers are still busy, but their game is played out. It is transparent. "Conservatism" has been used as a convenient and alluring name with which to conceal the effort to sustain the predominance of a single class in this country over all other men and classes. James M. Mason, famous for fathering the Fugitive Slave Bill of 1850, and for nothing else but a futile endeavor to implicate his political enemies with John Brown; John Slidell, famous for the Plaquemine election frauds, and for nothing else but the most unscrupulous political intrigue; John B. Floyd, famous for stealing and running away, and for nothing else; Wigfall, famous for whisky-drinking; Pryor, famous for not fighting with Potter; Cobb, famous for emptying the Treasury and imperiling the credit of the country; Toombs, famous for idiotic bellowing in the United States Senate; Jefferson Davis—these, and an endless string more, are the representative "Conservatives" of the present epoch in our history, and their "conservatism" consisted and consists in the effort to destroy all the safeguards which our Constitution throws around the rights of all men; and, baffled in that, in the fierce and furious armed attempt to overthrow that Constitution and ruin the country.

This game of "Conservatism" is up. Meanwhile the great and true Conservative party of the country—the party of all faithful citizens who, to whatever political band they may have hitherto belonged, are daily learning that national peace can be preserved only by maintaining, by conserving the cardinal and distinctive principles of our Government—is engaged in the triumphant suppression of the rebellion instigated by these pseudo "Conservatives" and their abettors at the North in Congress and the press; and having preserved the country from the military blows which rebel treason strikes at its heart, it will equally save it front the political plots of rebel "Conservatism."


THERE is a lively piece of twaddle afloat. It is the ineffably and silly assertion that this is a nation of white men, or a white man's government. Of course it is only one of the mean appeals to the hate that people always feel for those they have injured. Its intention is to quench any sympathy for black men. It is the kind of argument that does duty in bar rooms, and is very effective in the mouths of politicians whose success depends upon the ignorance and not upon the intelligence of the people.

The assertion is false in whatever way you look at it. It is false theoretically and practically. It is false historically and in current experience. This Government is founded upon the doctrine of equal human rights. The Declaration of Independence holds it to be self-evident that "all men are created equal"—not equal, of course, in capacity, or circumstance, or condition, any more than in the height, or weight, or the color of their hair and eyes—but equal in the right to a guarantee from society of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

The men who made the Declaration said this. Did they mean it, or did they solemnly assert what they thought to be false? Did they mean that "all" men, or "some men" are created equal? In other words, did they mean to say that all men are not created equal? No; they meant what they said; and they said "men." Not white men, nor black men, nor yellow, red, brown, or motley men; not Americans, nor Englishmen, nor Frenchmen, nor Germans, nor Irishmen, nor Italians, nor Hindoos, nor Chinese, nor Malays, nor Africans, nor East or West Indians. Not short men, nor tall men, nor fat, lean, or dumpy men; not smart men, nor stupid, mean, foolish, good, bad, or indifferent men. The fathers said what they meant, and meant what they said. They meant all men, and calling God and the world to witness, they said all men. Their doctrine may have been false, but they believed it to be true—and acting upon it they published the Declaration, and upon the principles of the Declaration the Constitution was founded.

Our National Government, therefore, is a Government of all men who, living in the country, obey the laws and behave themselves. The yellow Chinese,

and the olive Spaniard or West Indian, or the red Turk or Hindoo, or the white Englishman or Irishman, or the African or Creole of any race, may be a citizen of the United States, subject to the conditions of the State law. As a matter of fact the paler complexions predominate among the citizens; but the ballot of the voter of tawny Spanish descent in New Orleans, or of dusky African descent in Boston, counts just as much in this Government as the vote of the Honorable Mr. Cox, for instance, of Ohio.

The glory of this Government is not in the color of the skins of the citizens, but in the justice with which its laws are made and the    fidelity with which they are executed. If the laws be unjust, the Government is mean and inglorious and the nation disgraced, although the face of every citizen were as white as snow.


THE following extract from a letter of an officer at Fort Macon hits off admirably the impatience of the slowness of military operations which is so constantly felt and expressed by those who have had no experience of such movements:

"You people that stay at home are in such a confounded hurry that you think that all is lost if a General has to besiege a place twenty-four hours. The newspapers say "Great Success! Fort Macon taken after ten hours' bombardment"—so you all think that General Parke breakfasted early one morning; took a hand-car; came down from Newbern; crossed over; put eight mortars and four siege-guns behind a sand-hill; fired away; took the fort; paroled the prisoners; hoisted the flag; and returned to Newbern to dinner, getting there five minutes after the dinner-bell rang, and was reprimanded for being late. Whereas we besieged the place for a good month; worked like dogs and made half our regiment sick; were on picket duty every third day, besides furnishing camp guard, fatigue parties to work in trenches, and patrols. Whenever you hear again that a thing is done in ten hours, understand that doing the thing is easy work, but getting ready to do it is confounded hard work. And now, instead of supposing that we are ready to go somewhere else because we have taken Fort Macon, know that is the very reason why we are not able to move. We need rest, and the fort needs to be put in proper condition again."


COMMENCING EARLY.—A brutal teacher whipped a little boy for pressing the hands of a little girl who sat next to him at school, after which he asked the child "why he squeezed the girl's hand?" "Because," said the little fellow, "it looked so pretty I couldn't help it." How very natural!

The bard of Twickenham, hough very short and deformed, was nevertheless very partial to his person. One day he asked Dean Swift what people in Ireland thought of him.

"They think," says the Dean, "that you are a great poet and a very little man."

Pope exclaimed, passionately, "And, Mr. Dean, the people in England think quite the reverse of you!"

A correspondent with a mathematical turn sends us the following:

"I heard some one say the other day that Harper's Weekly has a regular circulation of 130,000 copies. At this rate it would soon cover the whole land. I amused myself by making a few calculations as to the progress you are making in this attempt.

"The Weekly measures 46 by 83 inches, and contains 1518 square inches. There are 6,272,640 square inches in an acre; so that 130,000 papers will carpet a farm of 31 acres and a little more: the 52 numbers in the year will therefore cover (disregarding fractions) 1612 acres.

"Again, the length of the paper being 46 inches, the. 130,000, laid lengthwise, would reach 94 miles, with 2004 feet to spare; the 52 yearly numbers will then extend to within a few rods of 4910 miles. The circumference of the globe being, in round numbers, 25,000 miles, it would require a little more than five years to 'put a girdle [of Harper's Weekly] round the globe.'

"Again, I find that 30 numbers of the Weekly, when folded and pressed, measure an inch in thickness. So that the whole edition for a single week would make a pile 362 feet high—say one-third higher than the steeple of Trinity Church."

THE SEX.—A parson, reading the funeral service at the grave, forgot the sex of the deceased, and asked one of the mourners, an Emeralder, "Is this a brother or a sister?" "Neither," replied Pat, "only a cousin."

NOT SO DUSTY.—"Dost thou clean my furniture, fair handmaiden?" asked X., of the pretty servant who was polishing his escritoire. "I Dust," replied the hand-maiden.

A mechanic having taken a new apprentice, awoke him the first morning at a very early hour by calling out that the family were sitting down to table. "Thank you," said the boy, as he turned over in bed to adjust himself for a new nap, "thank you, but I never eat any thing during the night."

A surgeon aboard a ship of war used to prescribe salt-water for his patients in all disorders. Having sailed one evening on a party of pleasure, he happened, by some mischance, to be drowned. The captain, who had heard of the disaster, asked of the tars next day if he had heard any thing of the doctor. "Yes," answered Jack, after a turn of his quid, "he was drowned last night in his medicine chest."

In chemistry the best way to separate two bodies is to introduce a third. The same holds true in other departments. To increase the distance between a pair of lovers all that's required is to let Willie walk into the "back parlor" with a lighted candle in his hand.

A gentle heart is like ripe fruit, which bends so low that it is at the mercy of every one who chooses to pluck it, while the harder fruit keeps out of reach.

When the telegraph poles were first stationed through the valley, a green 'un drove into a village and tied his horse to what he supposed was a spruce pole. He was accosted by a precocious urchin with, 'Mister! mister! what have you done?" "Done," said the fellow; "what do you mean? I hain't done nothin' as I knows on." "Why, yeth you have, thir; you have just hitched your horse to the Magnetic Telegraph. and you'll be in New York in less than two minutes if you don't look out." The man untied his horse with nervous anxiety, and jumping into his sleigh, drove hastily down the street.

An Englishman and Yankee being in a promiscuous company, the latter was so much struck with some bold air sung by the former, that he asked the name of it. "Oh nothing but the tune the old cow died on," was the response. The Yankee struck up Yankee Doodle. "What is that?" asked his companion. "This is the tune old bull died on!" was the prompt reply.



ON Tuesday, June 3, in the Senate, communications relative to soldiers imprisoned in the District penitentiary, and transmitting the instructions given to the provisional Governors of Tennessee and North Carolina, were received. A joint resolution was adopted allowing hereafter a premium of two dollars for every accepted recruit to the regular army, and allowing soldiers enlisted as volunteers or in the regular army to receive their first month's pay in advance. The Tax bill was then taken up, and occupied the Senate till the adjournment.—In the House, the motion to reconsider the vote whereby the bill to free from servitude the slaves of rebels was rejected was taken up, and, after debate, the subject was recommitted to the Select Committee, with instructions to report a substitute in effect liberating the slaves of the leading conspirators against the Government. A bill declaring all persons holding office under the Confederate government forever ineligible to office under the Government of the United States was passed. The House then adjourned.

On Wednesday, June 4, in the Senate, the House bill punishing polygamy in the Territories, with an amendment of the Senate annulling acts of the Legislature of Utah with regard to the practice, was passed by a vote of 37 to 2. The consideration of the Tax bill was then resumed, and continued till the adjournment.—In the House, a petition asking that Western Virginia be admitted into the Union as a new and independent State, was referred to the Territorial Committee. The Senate bill recognizing the independence of Hayti and Liberia and providing for diplomatic relations with those republics was then passed by a vote of 86 against 37. Mr. Blair introduced a bill providing for the removal of the Mint at New Orleans to St. Louis. A joint resolution that Congress finally adjourn on the 16th inst. was adopted, and the House adjourned.

On Thursday, June 5, in the Senate, the bill providing a government for the Territory of Arizona was discussed. A motion to take up the resolution providing for the expulsion of Senator Stark, of Oregon, who is charged with disloyalty, was rejected by a vote of 13 yeas against 29 nays. The consideration of the Tax bill was then resumed. The plan of the Boston Board of Trade and the substitutes of the Finance Committee were both rejected. Senator Sumner proposed a tax of two dollars per head on slaves, the slaves in no case to be sold for said tax, which was adopted by a vote of 19 against 16. The Senate then adjourned.—In the House, Mr. Wickliffe asked leave to introduce a resolution inquiring whether General Hunter has organized a regiment of blacks and fugitive slaves in South Carolina, but objection was made, and the subject was therefore not entertained. The bill appointing a Board of Fortifications for sea-coast and other defenses was discussed in Committee of the Whole. Mr. Stevens moved to strike out the enacting clause, which was agreed to. The House subsequently confirmed the action of the committee, so the bill was lost. The House then adjourned.

On Friday, June 6, in the Senate, official reports of the operations of the naval forces on the Mississippi, the capture of New Orleans, etc., were received from the Secretary of the Navy. Senator Sumner offered a resolution in effect calling for the removal of Edward Stanly from the post of Military Governor of North Carolina. Objection was made, and the resolution lies over. Senator Sumner also offered a resolution declaring the office of Military Governor contrary to the Constitution and laws, destructive to the civil authority, and contrary to the spirit of our Institutions. This was likewise objected to, and lies over. Senator Sumner moved to take up the resolution for the expulsion of Senator Stark, of Oregon, charged with disloyalty; but the Senate refused, and recommenced the consideration of the Tax bill. The vote of Thursday levying a tax of two dollars per head on slaves was, after considerable debate, reconsidered—twenty-two against eighteen. A proposition to tax slaves under ten and over sixty-five years of age was defeated—seventeen against twenty-three. The Tax bill was then passed, by a vote of thirty-seven against one, Senator Powell, of Kentucky, casting the negative vote.—The session of the House was devoted to the consideration of private bills and general debate, in which no matters of general interest transpired.

Both Houses adjourned till Monday.

On Monday, June 9, the Senate resolved itself into a High Court of Impeachment for the trial of Judge Humphreys, of Tennessee, charged with treason and other high crimes. Proclamation was made, calling on West H. Humphreys to appear and answer to the charges, and no response being offered, the Court adjourned till the 26th inst. The Senate then resumed legislative business, and the House bills prohibiting slavery in the Territories, and prescribing an additional oath to grand and petit jurors, were passed, the first named by a vote of 28 to 10. The Pacific Railroad bill and amendments were ordered to be printed, and the subject was then postponed.—In the House, a memorial asking the admission of Utah into the Union was presented by the delegate from that Territory. The document, together with the constitution of Utah, were appropriately referred. The Tax bill and the Senate's amendments thereto were referred to the Ways and Means committee. A resolution calling for information as to whether General Hunter has organized a regiment of negroes in South Carolina, was adopted. Mr. Vallandigham offered a resolution tendering the thanks of the House to General Halleck and his army for the occupation of Corinth without loss of life, and declaring that the House would rejoice to see the Constitution as it is, and the Union as it was, maintained and restored every where without any further effusion of fraternal blood. Mr. Vallandigham demanded the previous question on the resolution, but objection was made, and the subject was laid over. The resolution appropriating $35,000 for the purchase, from Gales & Seaton, of sets of Annals of Congress and Register of Debates, was repealed. Mr. Julian offered a resolution for repeal of the Fugitive Slave law, which was referred to the Judiciary Committee. A resolution was offered by Mr. Colfax, instructing the Judiciary Committee to report a bill modifying the Fugitive Slave law, by giving trial by jury to any person denying under oath he is a slave, etc. A resolution declaring that the President should instruct the commanding Generals in the rebel States to issue a proclamation that the army of the republic will be subsisted, as far as practicable, upon the property of those in rebellion and those who gave aid and comfort to the enemies of the U. S., was adopted by a vote of 83 against 39.


The following address was read to the army on 3d at dress parade, and was received with an outburst of vociferous cheering from every regiment:


SOLDIERS OF THE ARMY OF THE POTOMAC!—I have fulfilled at least a part of my promise to you. You are now face to face with the rebels, who are held at bay in front of the capital. The final and decisive battle is at hand. Unless you belie your past history the result can not be for a moment doubtful. If the troops who labored so faithfully and fought so gallantly at Yorktown, and who so bravely won the hard fights at Williamsburg, West Point, Hanover Court House, and Fairoaks, now prove worthy of their antecedents, the victory is surely ours. The events of every day prove your superiority. Wherever you have met the enemy you have beaten him. Wherever you have used the bayonet he has given way in panic and disorder. I ask of you now one last crowning effort. The enemy has staked his all on the issue of the coming battle. Let us meet him and crush him here in the very centre of the rebellion.

SOLDIERS!—I will be with you in this battle, and share its dangers with you. Our confidence in each other is now founded upon the past. Let us strike the blow which is to restore peace and union to this distracted land. Upon your valor, discipline, and mutual confidence the result depends.   GEO. B. McCLELLAN,

Major-General Commanding.


We find the following in the Richmond Inquirer of June 4:


I render to you my grateful acknowledgments for the gallantry and good conduct you displayed in the battles

of the 31st of May and 1st inst., and with pride and pleasure recognize the steadiness and intrepidity with which you attacked the enemy in position, captured his advanced inhrenchments, several batteries of artillery, and many standards, and every where drove them from the open field.

At a part of your operations it was my fortune to be present. On no other occasion have I witnessed more of calmness and good order than you exhibited while advancing into the very jaws of death, and nothing could exceed the prowess with which you closed upon the enemy when a sheet of fire was blazing in your faces!

In the renewed struggle in which you are on the eve of engaging, I ask and can desire but a continuance of the same conduct which now attracts the admiration and pride of the loved ones you have left at home.

You are fighting for all that is dearest to men; and though opposed to a foe who disregards many of the usages of civilized war, your humanity to the wounded and the prisoners was the fit and crowning glory to your valor.

Defenders of a just cause, may God have you in His holy keeping!   JEFFERSON DAVIS.

The general will cause the above to be read to the troops under his command.


General McClellan has furnished to the War Department a statement of the killed, wounded, and missing at the battle of Fairoaks, which he estimates in the aggregate at 5739, which were divided among the different corps engaged as follows:

Corps.     Killed. Wounded. Missing.

General Sumner (second) 183 894 146

Heintzelman (third)    259   980   155

Keyes (fourth)    448   1753   921

Total   890   3627   1222


The following dispatch was received on 4th at the War Department:


Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War:

General Pope, with 40,000 men, is thirty miles south of Corinth, pushing the enemy hard. He already reports 10,000 prisoners and deserters from the enemy, and 15,000 stand of arms captured.

Thousands of the enemy are throwing away their arms. A farmer says that when Beauregard learned that Colonel Elliott had cut the railroad on his line of retreat he became frantic, and told his men to save themselves the best way they could.

We have captured nine locomotives and a number of cars. One of the former is already repaired, and is running to-day. Several more will be in running order in two or three days.

The result is all I could possibly desire.

      H. W. HALLECK,

      Major-General Commanding.

General Pope telegraphs on 9th from the advance, that the prisoners who first deserted to be exchanged now want to take the oath. The rebels drove and carried off every thing for miles around. The wealthiest families are destitute and starving. Women and children are crying for food, and all the males are forced into the army.


The particulars of the capture of Memphis were received in Washington on 7th from Commodore Davis, in which he states that a battle took place between his fleet, aided by Colonel Ellet's ram flotilla, and the rebel fleet of eight gun-boats and rams. The engagement commenced at half past five on the morning of the 6th instant, and ended at seven in a running fight, the end of which was the capture of four vessels of the rebel fleet, the sinking of two, and the burning of one. One escaped by superior speed. Colonel Ellet, who is seriously but not dangerously wounded, is highly complimented for his gallantry and skill. Memphis was surrendered by the Mayor immediately after the engagement, and was placed under military authority.


Dispatches received from General Mitchell, on 7th, dated at Huntsville, Alabama, state that General Negley, with a portion of the forces under his (Mitchell's) command had driven the rebels under General Adams from Winchester to Chattanooga, and at that place had utterly routed them and captured all their baggage wagons, supplies, and ammunition.


A dispatch from Mobile to the Petersburg Express states that the Union fleet has passed the lower batteries on the river and attacked Fort Morgan.


Dispatches from Flag-Officer Dupont state that the gun-boats have possession of Stono, near Charleston, General Stevens, with an expedition, went from Port Royal to Pocotaglio, a railway station oil the road between Charleston and Savannah, and tore up the track, thus cutting off communication between those two cities.

Southern papers report that our troops landed on the 4th instant at James Island, opposite Charleston; that a battle took place there, and they claim a victory. Later dispatches, dated the same day, say that our men landed in large force on Battery Island and John Island, and were then in front of General Gist, the rebel leader, under cover of our gun-boats. An immediate advance on the city was then considered imminent.


The whole Shenandoah valley has been cleared of the rebels by the combined movements of General Shields, General Fremont, and General McDowell, from whose force a brigade of cavalry, under General Bayard, reached Strasburg on 1st, and was ordered by General Fremont to join in the pursuit of Jackson's army, who made three attempts to maintain a position at different points, but were driven from each with great loss. The rebels were attacked at Strasburg by Fremont's forces en the evening of 1st, and rapidly pursued on Monday morning by the troops of Fremont, Shields, and Bayard. Their dispersion was complete.

General Fremont reached Harrisonburg on 7th, and drove Jackson's rear-guard from the place.


The Union meeting announced to be held in Shelbyville, Tennessee, has come off. Three thousand people were present, and the Union sentiment was strongly manifested. Governor Johnson, Colonel May, and J. L. Scudder addressed the meeting, the latter gentleman having been a prominent secessionist previously, and an official under the rebel Governor Harris.




IN the House of Lords Earl Russell has laid upon the table the new treaty with the United States for the suppression of the slave-trade. He briefly explained its objects, and bore testimony to the efforts of the Government of President Lincoln to put a stop to the traffic.



As a singular contrast to the action of the Christian Powers of Europe with regard to the reception given and aid afforded to rebel vessels in their ports, we have the fact demonstrated, by recent official communications between Mr. Seward and the Government of the Sultan of Turkey, that the latter has refused admission into Turkish ports to any vessel bearing the rebel flag.



News from Vera Cruz comes to us to the 14th ult. Reports were circulating to the effect that the French had met with a severe repulse at Puebla, losing about twelve hundred men; but many were slow to believe it; and other rumors say that the invaders occupied Puebla without any resistance. Preparations for defending the capital were continuing.




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