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Page) In the present case we have, of
course, the right to set against the revelations of reports in individual cases
the spectacle of the generous and general rising of the people. Moreover, we may
justly add to that the universal public conviction that the chief officers of
state are eminently men of pure hands. That knaves should swarm upon the chance
of contracts is not surprising. The only sadness is that the old suspicion of a
very wide demoralization should be revived by the apparent implication of men
hitherto beyond a whisper of suspicion. For there is no man and no nation so
'cute that they can be saved without faith.
A QUEER MISTAKE.
A RESOLUTION was lately
introduced into our Legislature to invite a clergyman to address the Assembly
upon the Great Rebellion. A worthy member objected, saying that he would very
gladly listen to a clergyman upon the subject of Christ's Sermon on the Mount;
but when clergymen interfered in politics they transcended their duty—or as the
report has it, "when they came out of the pulpit to preach politics to the
Assembly, they unduly interfered with the members in the discharge of their
This is in the reports of the
Assembly and not in Rabelais.
But when were the clergymen
disfranchised? When did they cease to be American citizens? When did they lose
the right to speak upon public affairs which every American, of whatever
profession, justly prizes as so characteristic a right of our system?
It was Mr. Stetson who is
reported to have made this extraordinary objection. He did not urge that the
Assembly had not time—that if it listened to one member's friend it could hardly
courteously refuse another's—that the clergyman and his friends could appoint a
time and place for his address and invite the members who wished to hear it to
come, all of which were obvious remarks upon such a proposition. But he took the
ground that the Assembly ought not to invite one of their fellow-citizens to
address them upon the state of the country, because his address would be an
interference with the discharge of their constitutional duties, and for the
reason that he was a clergyman!
But suppose he had been a lawyer,
or a doctor, or a merchant, or a shoemaker, or a manufacturer, or a leather
dealer, or a salt dealer, or a farmer, or a blacksmith, would his address have
been equally impertinent? And if not, why not? Has an American citizen any more
interest in the welfare of the country because he is a horse jockey or a lawyer
than he would have if he were a clergyman? And if a clergyman, although a
citizen and as much interested in the nation as anybody ought to stick to his
profession, so ought every other citizen, no more and no less. And if so, what
is Mr. Stetson doing in the Assembly?
That gentleman's profession is
not announced. But if he be a lawyer, why does he not stay in court or his
office, and talk of the statutes at large or the Pandects of Justinian? If he be
a shoemaker, why does he not stick to his last? If a farmer, to his plow? If a
carpenter, to his plane? If a merchant, to his ledger? If a mason, to his
trowel? If a doctor, to his pills? Because a clergyman preaches sermons and
takes the charge of a parish is he to shut his eyes and mouth upon the National
welfare, in hiding his own and that of each of his parishioners?
Mr. Stetson has made a ludicrous
but a not infrequent mistake. He is selected by his fellow-citizens of all
professions, and leaves his own special business to fulfill a duty which is just
as incumbent upon every clergyman as it is upon every lawyer or mechanic-the
duty of practical interest in public affairs. If he and his associates think
they can be assisted by the thoughts of any citizen, whatever his calling, they
can not do wrong to hear him. His speech would be no interference, it would be
an assistance. If the citizen be foolish or dull, that is enough, don't ask him.
But to say that the Assembly ought not to hear him because he is a clergyman, is
to declare that you have yourself no business to be speaking to them, for you
must have some profession, and every man in every other profession is your exact
MAKING CITIZENS SOLDIERS.
LITTLE Rhode Island was the first
State to offer, through her Governor, her aid to the Government last April. She
has sent some of the best and bravest soldiers that have marched. Her boys were
Bull Run; they are at
Port Royal, and in
Pamlico Sound. The blood of Rhode
Island has not forgotten that Greene in the Revolution and Perry in 1814 were
Rhode Islanders. The heart of Rhode Island will never forget the younger heroes
who face a deadlier foe to-day.
The intelligence with which this
small State has regarded the rebellion from the beginning is manifested in the
new bill which has been introduced into its Legislature abolishing the
distinction between enrolled and active militia. Rhode Island now proposes to
say, all Rhode Islanders capable of bearing arms must be made practically
proficient in military knowledge and ready for all events. As went Rhode Island
last spring so went the loyal States. As she goes now so will they.
For henceforth we are to be a
military republic. Hitherto we have made a curious but a natural mistake. We
have thought that our situation and our system enabled us safely to dispense
with arms. We are now taught that it is our character and education which allows
us to bear them safely. Our situation and our system, united with our condition
and education, will secure us a permanent but not a pusillanimous peace. The
possession of fire-arms and skill in their use promote war only among a
barbarous or semi-civilized or oppressed people. To a nation of peaceful
pursuits, of an equally prosperous political condition, and of general
intelligence, they are simply a guarantee, not a temptation.
Every State may wisely follow the
Rhode Island, as every college
and school may follow that of the University of Michigan which contemplates a
military department. As there is no restriction upon the possession of fire-arms
in this country, so the practical knowledge of their use in military
combinations should be made universal. Nobody probably expects an immediate
peace. Nobody supposes that, when a tempest so long gathering as our
at length bursts with a fury that threatens the very existence of the nation,
its consequences are to be smoothed away by a surrender. The rebels may be
conquered. They may surrender. But hate is not vanquished by bayonets. The whole
rebel section must long have military occupation, or be readily commanded by
A military nation, also, speaks
to foreign powers with significance. Its whispers are a breeze. Its words may be
a tempest. We have sometimes congratulated ourselves that we knew nothing of
military science and had little military skill. But it is not the loss of any
knowledge, it is the subordination and application of all that makes wisdom.
WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH THEM?
"WHAT do you gentlemen who are so
clamorous for releasing the
slaves of rebels propose to do with them?" is a
question constantly asked. "It is very easy to cry emancipate! emancipate! but
what is your panacea for those who are emancipated?"
The question, in itself, is fair
and timely—although it is often asked contemptuously, and is intended to wither
any further remark.
The answer is, first of all, that
something must be done. At the present time we have several thousands of persons
within our lines who were lately slaves. 'They can not be returned to rebel
masters. They can not be retained as slaves. They can not be left to themselves.
The Government is charged with the responsibility of their care. They must be
fed, clothed, and educated, and labor must be given them. In fact, the released
slaves are the pupils of the Government.
The question is of such scope,
and the necessity is so urgent, that Congress should at once provide the means
of dealing with the actual facts. Since the advance of our arms upon rebellious
soil inevitably releases so many, it is useless to suffer the facts to be winked
out of sight. Congress should at once declare that the slaves of rebels are
free. That would at once determine a policy. The grave decision would not be
left to the whim of a General, and the released slaves would not be forced to
believe that any kind of slavery was better than such freedom as leaves them
naked and starving.
That being settled, a
sub-department of the Interior should be created for the special purpose of
carrying into operation all the details necessary for the proper disposition of
the slaves thus released. The exportation of a people, if more numerous than the
Acadians, is not practicable. Yet if any wished to colonize within our own
territory or elsewhere they should be assisted. Centres of operations, under
sufficient military protection, should be established, and strict order
maintained. Then laws looking to their advance to citizenship, at such graduated
times as should be found desirable, should follow. They would be at first like a
mass of rude immigrants; but after due lapse of time they would be quite as
competent citizens as many other immigrants.
The difficulties of
are always upon the side of the slaveholders, not of the slaves. The impediments
in the West Indies were not the incompetence of the slave but the injustice of
the master. The friction with us will be in the same place.
The question can not be deferred,
for it is here. The slaves already with us must be cared for, and the system
that properly cares for thousands should be adapted to hundreds of thousands and
millions. It is confessedly the gravest point of the war—so grave that most
people wish to shut their eyes upon it, hoping that Providence will settle it.
Providence will settle it, as it
settles all things, by our hearts and brains.
A STRANGE STORY.
BULWER has well named his last
exciting story, which is now published with the illustrations. It is a strange
story. All the weird, mysterious influences that affect the human imagination,
and fascinate certain scholars, surrounding daily life with an atmosphere of
romance and wonder, a half-miraculous world, are used as the machinery of the
tale, end with the skill of a master. It belongs to the same class of romances
as his "Zanoni," which is the most highly wrought and passionate of all.
Bulwer is fully aware that great
rivals, of a later date than he, are in the field; and he does not hesitate to
treasure swords with them. The great host of readers that acknowledge the spell
of his enchantment will feel with delight the new wave of his wand, and follow
with delight the fortunes of a man who seemed to have found the elixir of youth.
HUMORS OF THE DAY.
LENITY PROPERLY REBUKED.
A TELEGRAM from Naples states
that the brigand chief, Chiavone, "has been deprived by
the Bourbon Committee at Rome of the command
of the brigands, for having disobeyed instructions
by shooting prisoners."
Telegrams are usually incomplete;
but we understand that this merciful manner of
murdering the prisoners has given great offense at the
Vatican, and that the successor to Chiavone has imperative
instructions either to burn his captives, or to put them to
death gradually, in the Chinese fashion. As the Pope
justly remarks, "these are not times for sentimental
mercy to the enemies of the Church."
DIFFERENT VIEWS AT DIFFERENT
TIMES.-Much as we may have hated a man before, it is very strange what a very
different view we take of him the moment we are going to ask a favor of him!
FRIENDLY ADVICE TO THE
POPE.-"Stand not upon the order of your going, but go at once."
STYLES OF CONSOLATION.
A MAN'S.—"Well, I'll tell you
what you must do."
A WOMAN'S.—"Ah! I told you how it
THE PRUSSIAN CROWN AND
CUSHION.—The Kreuz Zeitung reports a speech made the other day by the King of
Prussia, in which his Majesty said: "My basis will, however, be the same, and
will be inviolable. I have received my crown from the altar." What has King
William's receipt of his crown from the altar to do with the inviolability of
his basis? What relation does his basis bear to his crown? Is not the one the
direct opposite to the other? If the King of Prussia puts his crown upon his
basis, what, we should like to know, does he put his hat upon?
THE STAMP OF IMPRUDENCE.—The
imprudent man carries postage stamps in his pocket-book, the prudent man never
does—for he knows well enough that he can always borrow of the man who has them.
It is as uncomfortable to feel
like scolding and have nothing to scold about, as it is to be hungry and have
nothing to eat.
Good sayings always suffer by
repetition; good deeds never do.
An auctioneer while selling a
stock of jewelry, describing a pair of jet earrings to a very respectable
company of ladies, exclaimed, very earnestly, "Indeed, if my wife were a widow,
I would positively buy them for her."
FOR news of the BURNSIDE
EXPEDITION see page 135; for news of the
CAPTURE OF FORT DONELSON see page 130.
On Tuesday, February 11, in the
Senate, a resolution of the New York Chamber of Commerce, in favor of the
immediate passage of the Treasury Note bill, and pledging the support of the
merchants of New York to the Government, was presented; also a petition from the
Chamber on the subject of postal reform. A joint resolution was adopted that the
two Houses of Congress assemble in the House of Representatives on Washington's
birth-day, the 22d of February, and that the President, the members of the
Cabinet, the foreign representatives, the officers of the army and navy, and
others, be invited to attend, and that Washington's Farewell Address be read. A
bill authorizing the banks of the District of Columbia to issue notes of less
than five dollars was referred. Senator Sumner offered a series of resolutions
declaring that the revolted States have committed felo de se, and that their
relations as members of the United States no longer exist; that their allegiance
has been severed, and the Federal Government owes no obligation to any pretended
State Government usurping certain territory; that individuals occupying such
territory owe allegiance to the General Government only, and the General
Government to the individuals; therefore persons heretofore held as slaves may
look henceforth to the General Government for protection as individuals. A
motion to lay them on the table was carried by a vote of 21 to 15, Senator
Sumner voting aye. The bill making appropriations for completing sea-coast and
lake fortifications was then taken up and discussed till, upon coming to a vote
upon a motion, it was discovered that there was no quorum present, whereupon the
Senate adjourned.—In the House, the Senate's amendments to the bill
appropriating ten millions of dollars for the construction of twenty iron-clad
steam gun-boats were concurred in, so the bill only requires the President's
approval to become a law. Mr. F. A. Conkling offered a preamble and resolution
setting forth that the army countersign was known to the rebels on the Potomac
on the day the steamer Pensacola passed down the river, before it was
communicated to the Union forces; that information of Union military and naval
movements is frequently communicated in advance to the enemy, under
circumstances justifying a suspicion of treachery on the part of persons in the
service of the Government; and that the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the
War investigate these charges and report thereon. The resolution was adopted. A
bill establishing a Department of Agriculture was introduced. The case of Mr.
Segar, who claimed a seat as representative from the First District of Virginia,
was resumed, and upon coming to a vote the House, by a vote of 85 to 40, adopted
the report of the Committee on Elections, declaring Mr. Segar not entitled to a
On Wednesday, February 12, in the
Senate, the bill providing for the punishment, by fine and imprisonment, of
persons convicted selling spirituous liquors to Indians, was passed. The bill
appropriating nearly seven millions of dollars for the completion of
fortifications was also passed. Bills providing for a reorganization of the Navy
Department, and for the appointment of a Warden of the District jail, were
introduced. The Treasury Note bill was taken up, and speeches made by Senators
Fessenden, Collamer, and Howe. The Senate Finance Committee's amendment,
restoring the clause making the interest on the public debt payable in coin, was
adopted. An amendment, that the Treasury notes issued in July be received in
payment of public dues, was adopted. An amendment setting apart the proceeds of
the public lands, and confiscated property, and duties on imported goods, as a
special fund for the payment of the interest of the debt in bonds and notes of
the United States, and for a sinking fund, was adopted. The amendment striking
out the provision that the notes be exchanged for bonds bearing seven per cent.
interest, was adopted. Several verbal amendments of the Finance Committee were
adopted. Senator Fessenden moved to amend the first section, so as to make the
bonds for which the notes are funded redeemable at pleasure in five years
instead of twenty, and payable in twenty years. Pending the question, the Senate
adjourned.—ln the House, the Senate's amendments to the Civil and Diplomatic
Appropriation bill were agreed to, and the bill passed. A preamble and
resolution, setting forth that Henry Wikoff had refused to state to the
Judiciary Committee from whom he received a portion of the President's annual.
Message previous to its being laid before Congress, and transmitting the same to
the New York Herald, and that said Wikoff be brought before the bar of the House
to answer for contempt, was adopted. Whereupon Wikoff was brought to the bar of
the House. Upon being interrogated formally regarding the matter, he said that,
while he hoped he would not be considered as wanting in respect either to the
House or the Judiciary Committee, yet the information demanded was received by
him under an obligation of secrecy that he felt bound to respect. Mr. Richardson
moved a postponement of the subject until Thursday, in order to give the
prisoner time for reflection, but the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Mr.
Hickman, pressed a resolution handing Mr. Wikoff over to the custody of the
Sergeant-at-arms until he shall purge himself of the alleged contempt, which was
adopted, and the House adjourned.
On Thursday, February 13, in the
Senate, the Treasury Note bill, with the legal tender clause, and the clause
providing for the payment of the interest of the public debt in coin, was passed
by a vote of thirty to seven. A conference committee was appointed on the
amendments to the Civil and Diplomatic Appropriation bill. A bill fixing the
number of Representatives under the new apportionment was reported. The bill
fixes the number at two hundred and thirty-nine. Senator Davis, of Kentucky,
presented a series of resolutions declaratory of the rights of the States and of
the United States. The series concludes with the following: "That no State, by
any vote of secession, or any other act, can abrogate her rights or obligations,
or the obligations of the United States to preserve her people in all their
rights, and guarantee to them a State republican government. That there can be
no confiscation of any property or the rights of loyal citizens unless for acts
declared to be criminal. That it is the duty of the United States to suppress
the rebellion, to carry the 'sword' in one hand and the 'olive branch' in the
other, and to restore the States as they were before the war."—In the House, a
resolution was adopted authorizing the Secretary of War to pay the Hannibal and
St. Joseph and Pacific Railroad companies for the transportation of troops,
munitions of war, etc., according to the
schedules issued by the War
Department in July last. The consideration of the Naval Appropriation bill was
resumed in Committee of the Whole. A clause requiring that naval officers shall
be employed to charter and purchase vessels when necessary, and wherever their
services are not available the compensation to other parties for chartering and
purchasing vessels shall not exceed five thousand dollars per annum, and at the
same rate for a shorter period of service, was agreed to. The Committee then
rose and the House adjourned.
On Friday, February 14, in the
Senate, an amendment to the Army bill was adopted, giving the bounty allowed to
soldiers, in case of death, to the relatives of the deceased. A resolution was
also passed authorizing and requesting the President to dismiss from the army or
navy such officers as, in his judgment, were unsuited to the service, or when
the service would be benefited by such dismissal.—In the House, the Naval
Appropriation bill was passed, with an amendment appropriating fifteen million
dollars for building additional gun-boats, as also one million for an ordnance
foundry at Washington. The Senate's amendment to the bill for the suppression of
the coolie trade was concurred in by the House. Mr. Wikoff, who had purged
himself of contempt to the House by answering the question propounded by the
Committee, was ordered to be discharged from custody. Both bodies then adjourned
over until Monday.
On Monday, February 17, the
excitement in the Senate incident to the reception of the news of the glorious
successes of the Union arms entirely unfitted that body for the transaction of
public business. After some routine business, of little importance, they went
into executive session, and soon after adjourned.—The House participated in the
general jubilee consequent upon the announcement of the news from Tennessee. No
business was done beyond the passage of an amendment reducing the salary of the
Commissioner of the Agricultural Department, and the bill authorizing the
employment of a stenographer by the committee on the conduct of the war. The
bill making an appropriation for the signal service of the army was also passed.
BOWLING GREEN EVACUATED, AND
BUELL IN PURSUIT.
Bowling Green has been evacuated
by the rebels, and our troops, under the direction of
General Buell, are
availing themselves of its evacuation to press on southward. On learning that
the rebels were evacuating that place, General Buell ordered a forced march by
General Mitchell, to save, if possible, the railroad and turnpike bridges on Big
Barren River. They, however, had all been destroyed when General Mitchell
reached the banks of the river. The brigades of General Breckinridge and General Hindman were until Thursday evening at Woodburn station, but subsequently moved
on to Russelville, and are probably now near
It is believed now that no rebel
forces exist in Kentucky east of the direct road from Bowling Green via
Franklin-a town on the railroad, nine miles south of Woodburn Station—to
Nashville. It is reported that General M'Cook and
General Thomas left with their
divisions, by way of Salt River, for the Cumberland on Saturday; General Buell,
it is said, accompanied M'Cook's division, to take command on the Cumberland
River in person, where 80,000 of our troops were expected to arrive on 18th.
While lie presses the enemy on the Cumberland with his tremendous force, their
flank and rear are threatened by the heavy divisions under Generals Nelson and
THE ATTACK UPON CLARKSVILLE.
General Cullum, in his dispatch
General McClellan on 18th, states that
Commodore Foote, although
suffering from the wound he received, will immediately follow with two gun-boats
and the mortar-boats which he expects to overtake, and make an attack on
Clarksville, another strong post of the rebels on the way to Nashville.
Clarksville is distant from Nashville about fifty miles, its a northwesterly
direction. It is fortified pretty strongly from the bluffs surrounding it, and
is by this thus most probably held by a large force of the rebels.
PRICE DRIVEN OUT OF MISSOURI.
An official dispatch was received by General M'Clellan
on 14th, from
General Halleck, announcing that the rebel
General Price, with his whole army, evacuated Springfield on Wednesday night upon the approach of our troops toward Wilson's Creek.
Our cavalry pursued them, while
the main body of our army took possession of the town
and hoisted the "old flag" on the Court-house. A large
amount of stores and equipage fell into our hands. On
16th we received intelligence from General Halleck that
the rear-guard of Price's army was overtaken, and after a
short resistance fled and dispersed, leaving in the hands
of our troops more prisoners than they could well take care
of, and deserting all their wagons and baggage on the road.
A VICTORY BY GENERAL LANDER.
A dispatch received by General
M'Clellan, on 15th, from General Lander, dated Pawpaw, Virginia, at eight
o'clock on Friday night, announces the fact that his forces surprised a rebel
camp at Blooming Gap, capturing seventeen commissioned officers, some of them of
high rank, and a number of others—in all amounting to seventy-five men. Thirteen
of the rebels were killed. This affair opens the line of the Baltimore and Ohio
Railroad as far as Hancock, and clears General Lander's department of the rebels
THE GREAT SAWYER GUN BURST.
The great Sawyer gun at Newport
News burst on Tuesday afternoon, while being fired off, killing two privates of
the Massachusetts Twenty-ninth Regiment, and wounding five or six others more or
AN AMNESTY TO POLITICAL
The President has issued an
order, through the Secretary of War, releasing all political prisoners now in
the custody of the military authorities in every quarter, upon giving their
parole to afford no aid to the enemies of the Government—spies alone excepted.
The President states that, as the rebellion is now manifestly on the decline,
the severe measures resorted to in the beginning are no longer necessary.
GREAT BRITAIN TO REMAIN NEUTRAL.
LORD JOHN RUSSEL has addressed an
important letter to the Lords of the Admiralty,
laying down very stringent rules with regard to American vessels of war or
privateers (belligerents) which may enter British ports. No such vessels from
the North or South will be permitted to enter any port of the Bahama Islands
without special leave of the Lieutenant-Governor; and with reference to all
British ports, whether in the United Kingdom or in the colonies, the vessels
alluded to will not be allowed to obtain any of the facilities for warlike
equipment; and when a ship belonging to one belligerent has sailed, twenty-four
hours must elapse before a ship belonging to the other belligerent may also
leave the harbor. When under stress of weather, vessels may have coal or
supplies to enable them to proceed to the nearest port of America—North or
South—where they will find shelter. As the Union war ships require no aid,
except, in case of casually, from Great Britain, this order will operate
healthfully fix the Union cause in undocking the privateers now ensconced in
English harbors, as well as effectually breaking up the nests of rebel smugglers
and pirates which have been formed at the Bahamas and other parts of the West
Indies by the secessionists since the time commencement of the rebellion.
THE "NASHVILLE" TO GO.
The Nashville has been ordered
from Southhampton; but her commander sent in a pitiful appeal begging more time,
and pointing to the fact that "certain destruction" awaited his vessel froth the
Tuscarora if he went out immediately after her.
THE "SUMTER" LIKEWISE.
The military commander of
Gibraltar has ordered the Sumter from that harbor within six hours,
notwithstanding that her captain begged time to wait for the arrival of cash
wherewith to purchase coal and food supplies. It was said that the Sumter would
be sold to parties in Genoa.