Colonization of the Slaves

 

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Civil War Harper's Weekly, June 28, 1862

Welcome to our online collection of Civil War Harper's Weekly newspapers. This collection includes all the Harper's Weekly newspapers published during the Civil War. This online collection allows you to watch the war unfold in real time.

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

 

Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis, Tennessee

Colonization of Slaves

Colonization of Slaves

Cross Keys

Battle of Cross Keys

General Sumner

General Sumner

War on the Mississippi River

War on the Mississippi

Front Royal

Battle Front Royal

Coward

Coward

Tranter's Creek

Battle of Tranter's Creek

James River

James River

Signal Corps

Signal Corps

Rebel Territory

Map of Rebel Territory

Memphis Naval Battle

Memphis Cartoon

Memphis Cartoon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

[JUNE 28, 1862.

402

BUNKER HILL.
JUNE 17.

ONE patriot's name is on our lips, Who fell before the foe,

Upon the field of Bunker Hill, Eighty-six years ago.

His dying words we say again,

Still thinking of our heroes slain.

 

We have seen many a brave one fall

Since we took up the sword;

Not dreaming how much blood would flow

Ere peace should be restored.

We should not dare to count our dead,

But for those words that Warren said.

 

Then raise the Stars and Stripes to-day, New England, over thee!

Lift up thy head—once more give out

The watch-word of the free!

Whene'er our country's foes are nigh,

'Tis sweet—'tis sweet for her to die!

 

Ay, wheresoever floats our flag,

Beloved of Freedom still,

Let all her brave defenders shout,

"Remember Bunker Hill!"

"Our country calls—'tis ours to try

How sweet it is for her to die!"

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

SATURDAY, JUNE 28, 1862.

SHALL WE CUT OFF OUR NOSES?

CONGRESS and the Administration of Mr. Lincoln seem to be traveling in a direction which must lead to mischief. In the Act passed by Congress for the collection of taxes in insurrectionary districts, a portion of the revenues to be derived from lands seized under the Act is to be appropriated for the purpose of exporting emancipated negroes to Hayti or Central America. Other Acts passed by Congress, or by one branch of the national legislature, indicate a similar purpose to expatriate the negroes as soon as they are freed. Mr. Lincoln has expressed the opinion that colonization should go hand in hand with emancipation, and Judge Montgomery Blair, a leading member of his Cabinet, has emphatically pronounced against abolition without colonization. The purpose of these statesmen and of the present Congress is evidently to get rid of the negroes as speedily as possible, and at whatever cost.

We wish to keep within bounds; but we think the future historian of the period in which we live will be somewhat embarrassed to decide which was the more insane, the conspiracy of Jeff Davis to divide the Union, or the efforts of the loyal Government to deprive the country of labor.

If there is one thing which we in these United States need, it is raw labor. We have a country of boundless magnitude and unexampled fertility. We have an excellent system of government, and every natural element of wealth. Millions of acres of the best agricultural land in the world lie idle for want of hands to till them. Countless mines of coal, iron, lead, copper, silver, and gold await the hand of man to yield their produce. Factories of all kinds are grievously wanted in almost every State of the Union, yet are not established for want of labor. There is no country in the world in which labor is so much wanted, and is so highly paid as here. In the North we pay unskilled laborers on the average four times as high wages as they can command in Europe, and eight times as much as they command in Asia. In the South, the demand for labor has raised the price of slaves 400 per cent. in a generation. Our whole legislation, for half a century, has been an expression of the popular demand for "more men." In the free States we have strained every nerve to encourage immigration from Europe; we have offered our public lands at nominal prices, and granted rights to squatters which enabled the veriest paupers to acquire homesteads; we have offered the privileges of full citizenship to every man who lived here five years, and in some States on even better terms than these; we have petted Germans and Irishmen, because we wanted their thews and sinews; we have framed our debtor and creditor laws so as to assist the needy; we have frowned down discussions of race and faith; we have done every thing, in fact, which could possibly be done to attract to the country men of every race and of every grade in society. So at the South. There the want of labor has been so keenly felt that for a quarter of a century the labor question which, in that section, takes the name of the slavery question, has been the vital, the only, question of the day. Deprived, by United States law, of the right of recruiting their supply of labor by immigration, the leading minds of the South have been exclusively devoted for twenty-five years to fostering its development at home. Virginia, Maryland, and Kentucky—which, had their own interests alone been consulted, would long ago have been free States—have been kept in the slave ranks because the great producing States of the South could not dispense with the annual

supply of raw labor derived from thence. One by one all other political issues at the South have given place to the vital question of labor. This question at last, in 1860-'61, became so overwhelmingly paramount; the want of labor grew so imperative that the leading Southern States actually sought to sever the country in twain in the hope of escaping from the dangers which menaced their supply of labor, and of increasing that supply by immigration from Africa. In the words of one of the leading conspirators: "Cotton is King: when we have achieved our independence, we shall say to Europe, 'Without the slave-trade we can not grow cotton.' The Europeans will demur at first, but finally they will acquiesce, and we shall then receive more negroes from Africa than the North receives white laborers from Europe."

It seems hardly credible that in view of these facts, these necessities, and this policy uniformly pursued both by the North and by the South for more than a quarter of a century, it should now be gravely proposed by any person of responsibility deliberately to give away, or to pay for the privilege of getting rid of that labor which has cost us so much, and which we have striven for so many years and at such sacrifices to procure.

Other nations have more sense. Denmark offers to take all our contrabands off our hands and guarantee their well-being on the island of Santa Cruz. Hayti offered, two months ago, to take all the contrabands at Fortress Monroe, and feed and clothe them at her expense there until they could be transported to the Haytian Republic. Jamaica has begged at intervals, for six years, the privilege of being allowed to relieve us of some of our blacks, who, according to our leading papers and some of our politicians, are such nuisances. Venezuela is our earnest suitor for some of the surplus labor of which we seek to get rid. Other nations have, in various ways, testified their perfect willingness to pick up the priceless jewel which we seem so anxious to throw away. These regions—the Danish and British West Indies, Hayti, Venezuela, etc., etc.—know what it is to be without labor. They have suffered acutely from the disease of which we have merely had premonitory twinges and distant visions. They know what it is to see noble estates and gorgeous valleys abandoned to wild beasts, birds, and weeds, merely from want of labor.

An account of the efforts which have been made, within the past ten years only, by France, England, and Spain, to supply their colonies with labor without shocking the moral sense of Christianity, would form a useful and valuable historical volume. France has spent millions in Senegal, laid on lines of packets, and exhausted ingenuity in efforts to seduce negroes to the plantations on Martinique, Guadaloupe, Marie-Galante, and Guiana; England has kidnapped coolies in Hindustan, and winked at the kidnapping of others in China, carried them seven or eight thousand miles across the water, and planted them in Trinidad, Guiana, etc., under the most elaborate systems, providing for their physical and moral nurture, for their apprenticeship, and subsequent wages, and finally, for their return, if they desire it, to their native country. Thus far the labor secured by these elaborate and expensive schemes has been a mere drop in the bucket, and the cry arises, louder and more piercing than ever, from all these tropical countries—the natural garden and granary of the world—for more men, more men, more men!

If Mr. Blair and his friends should carry out their present purposes, and permit the removal of our negroes from the Southern States to the West Indies and Central America, those foreign islands and regions which now fill so insignificant a place in history would then become prosperous and rich, and our Southern States which, for many years, have clothed the world and added hundreds of millions annually to our national wealth, would sink into the condition of Jamaica, Venezuela, and Nicaragua. The case would then be reversed. It would be this country which would fill the air with cries for labor; and it would be the tropical islands and the adjacent mainland which would claim to be the seat of commercial empire.

This notion of getting rid of the laborers at the South because their skin is black is merely a revival of the old prejudices of race which induced so many European nations for several centuries to enact penal laws against Jews and heretics. When Louis XIV. of France revoked the Edict of Nantes, and drove several hundred thousand of the best people of his country to America, England, and Belgium, he acted on precisely the same principle as Judge Blair. Experience shows, said his counselors, that Catholics and Huguenots can not live together in peace; one race must rule, and the other obey; hence incessant strifes and wars: for all which the only cure is the separation of the races. On the same grounds the Spaniards successively expelled, or tried to expel, from their country, Moors, Jews, and Protestants—with what fruit Spanish history tells loudly enough.

Says Mr. Blair: "The rebellion is waged not so much in the interest of slavery as from the innate horror with which the whites regard the black race, and their determination not to be placed on an equality with them. This feeling is not confined to the Southern States. The

Constitutional Convention of the State of Illinois, following the example of Indiana, prohibits negro immigration within the borders of the State. The white people of the United States will not live side by side with black men as their equals."

The original of this doctrine may be found in any history of England. The sentiments of Mr. Blair are precisely those which the Norman Conquerors of England expressed when the Saxono churls first claimed civil and political rights. In fact, it has been the sentiment of every dominant race in every country at every time when its domination was called in question. When the French Revolution cut down the old nobility to a level with the people, the Marquises and Counts declared that it was utterly impossible that they could live side by side with their former vassals. If they had had the power, they would have proposed to export the vassals just as Mr. Blair wants to export our negroes; unfortunately, they were in so modest a minority that it was cheaper to export themselves; and they did so. But their children live comfortably enough side by side with the progeny of the vassals.

We have got, in this world, from the cradle to the grave, to go on unlearning prejudices, acquiring toleration. Every one of us can put his finger on some wrong which he patiently tolerates, though at one time he considered it perfectly intolerable. Every one has learned to live with people whose society he at one time deemed incompatible with happiness and even existence. Every man, as he grows old, acquires the capacity of submitting to petty inconveniences which, in his youth, he would have died rather than endured. So with nations. Our weakness, in our present national childhood, is not to be able to tolerate negroes, except as slaves. We can't bear them. We don't want them in our houses. We won't meet them in public assemblages, or concede to them any rights whatever, except the bare right of living and working for us, sometimes for wages, generally without. Sooner than suffer them to enjoy the rights of manhood, say Mr. Blair and his friends, we had better part with that labor which has been the foundation of all our greatness, and without which the fairest portions of this continent would relapse into a wilderness, the abode of wild beasts and savages.

We have got, North as well as South, to unlearn this silly, unchristian nonsense. It is our destiny, in the world's progress, to show that an educated and humane people can rise superior to prejudices which have proved an insuperable obstacle to the besotted planters of the West India Islands. It is our business to demonstrate that two races which have lived peacefully and prosperously side by side under a system which was a compound of the most brutal selfishness, the basest cruelty, and the most outrageous injustice, can get along at least as well when the selfishness, cruelty, and injustice are replaced by humanity, kindness, and fair-dealing. No one who has rightly appreciated the spirit of the American nation can have any fears for the result.

THE LOUNGER.

POLITICAL "GAG."

WHENEVER a vigorous military measure is proposed there is a cry from certain people and papers that the war is for the maintenance of the Constitution and the Union-as-it-was. Certainly it is; but what then? What is the Union-as-it-was? It is the union of the people living in thirty-four States under one supreme national government, which by the Constitution-as-it-is is empowered to secure obedience to its authority from every citizen in the land, by military force if necessary.

That is what the Government is doing. This war is the effort of the Government to reduce armed rebels to its authority. By the Constitution the President is made Commander-in-chief, and to use military power to suppress insurrection. When that military force is counted by hundreds of thousands, and confronted by hundreds of thousands of armed rebels, when bloody battles are fought, cities besieged, and a stern blockade established, there is war between the Government and the insurgents, who are at once traitors and enemies, and who are to be subdued by every means known to war.

When the Government acts under the clause of the Constitution which authorizes the military suppression of the rebellion, all constitutional rights inconsistent with a state of war are suspended. For instance, every citizen of the United States has a constitutional immunity against the taking of his life by the Government, except after due process of law; meaning indictment, trial, etc. But the Government took the life of Sydney Johnson, at Shiloh, without any indictment or trial whatever. Was it an unconstitutional act? Not at all. It was just as constitutional as the hanging of Gordon. For the Constitution-as-it-is authorizes the use of military measures, after due warning, as much as it guarantees individual life and liberty, and when the Union-as-it-was is restored, every citizen who has not lost his life by military necessity will enjoy all the civil guarantees for it.

And so with whatever else may fall within the scope of military necessity. By the late law passed in the House our army is to be fed at the expense of the rebels. Every citizen has a right to his own property, but the grain and the cattle of every rebel will be peremptorily seized and appropriated to the use of the Government wherever the army needs

it. Does that interfere with the Union-as-it-was? No; it is simply an integral part of the necessary military operations to restore the Union-as-it-was, In like manner, the slaves of every rebel who have been used against the Government are liberated. Does that interfere with the Union-as-it-was? Not at all. It is only part of the constitutional means necessary to restore the Union-as-it-was. By-and-by it may become clearly necessary to summon all loyal people to the defense of the Government, and to that end the slaves may be freed. Will that interfere with the Union-as-it-was? Not at all; it will be only another blow which may be constitutionally struck at the rebellion. It is true that in the Union-as-it-was there were slaves lawfully held in many States. So there were in the District of Columbia. But when the war is over, if it ends to-morrow, there will be no slaves lawfully held there. Must the District Slave-law be re-enacted, lest otherwise we shall not have tha Union-as-it-was? If hereafter the American Government clearly fulfills the purposes for which it was expressly created, and every man subject to that Government enjoys the full liberty which the Declaration of Independence declares to be given him by God—if upon the continent, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, the crack of the slave-whip is heard no more, and universal peace and prosperity bloom from Justice, like red and white roses from these bright trees of June, will it be the wreck and chaos of the nation?

No, and forever no! It will be the Union-as-it-was in the very intent and words of the fathers; the Union-as-it-was meant to be; and the Union, by God's blessing, as the children of those fathers mean it shall be.

AN EVENING AT THE ACADEMY OF MUSIC.

THERE was lately an unheralded debut at the opera. It was that of a singer entirely unknown to New York, who was quietly announced in Lucrezia, and who sang the part as it has not been sung here since Grisi.

It seems, according to the bill of the play, that Mr. Ullman, the manager, had promised the pensive public thirty evenings of opera. They were to be directed by Mr. Grau, who, for some reason, gave only twenty-four while Mr. Ullman was absent in Europe. Upon the return of that gentleman he was met upon the wharf by the astounding intelligence that six evenings of opera were still due to the Public. He was overwhelmed with amazement. He had heard, of course, nothing of it. It was shameful. His honor was at stake. He must make reparation.

He therefore immediately prepared a programme of six nights. The best opera company in the country, Gottschalk and Hermann, were all to appear, and all for fifty cents a seat! "I owe it to the public," said the ingenuous Ullman. "I am nothing, and I have no right to look for any private advantage. I must sacrifice at fifty cents admission." He said in the bills that the performances would be accessible "to all classes." That was a mistake springing from his European habits. For an opera manager in this country there can be but one class, namely, those who pay to come in.

The manager's self-sacrifice was rewarded. The evening came, and so did the crowd. The house was overflowing. It is not for any Lounger to inquire whether each person represented fifty cents in the cash-box, because a strict survey of the audience forbade that supposition. Nor can any eloquence persuade the Lounger that the hands which just behind him clapped violently upon the least chance had paid any money whatever as the price of entrance. Those hands literally worked their way in. The manager was not swindled in that transaction.

Was there any swindling at all—say in the matter of fifty cents admission? No: no swindling, but only prestidigitation. Mr. Ullman is a theatrical prestidigitator. You pay fifty cents admission. But you get no seat for fifty cents! You pay also fifty cents to go to Albany by the steamer. But you pay fifty or a hundred more cents to get a berth or a state-room. It is an extremely ingenious prestidigitation, whereby the admission is fifty cents, but every body who sits down pays a dollar. The excellent Herald calls Mr. Ullman a Napoleon. If you look at the bottom of the bill of the play you will see why.

But the house was full, and what electricity in a full house! The success of the evening was sure after the first five minutes of the opera. D'Angri came dashing across the stage—the most masculine of Orsinis—and gave the performance an impetus which was felt until the end. How romantic the opera is! How fascinating the festal opening—the revelry—the gay costumes—the mysterious city—the gondola—the masked lady! The masked lady is Lucrezia Borgia. She is clad in red velvet with a black mantilla. She moves in mystery and delicious music.

In interesting variety of action and gloomy tragic intensity no Italian opera is so striking as Lucrezia Borgia. In no other does Donizetti seem so truly a master. Certainly in no other of his is there so continuous a flow of characteristic and delightful melody. The debutante, Mr. Ullman told us in the bill, had just emerged from a brilliant career in New Orleans. What if she had? That would not have counted here. But her admirable conception of the character — the freedom and breadth of her delineation—her pure, ample, and flexible voice, and her polished and exquisite vocalization, showed her at once to be the most excellent lyrical artist we have had since La Grange, and in many points—in repose and largeness of style—she is superior to La Grange.

The audience was cool, but evidently felt that Madame Borchard was satisfactory and successful. Why then was it cool? Simply because she was not beautiful. Had her personal equaled her vocal charms we should have had a heaven-shaking enthusiasm. Yet to an old stager (for there were doubtless such in the house!) it must have been (Next Page)


 

 

  

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