Warning to England


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, May 9, 1863

Welcome to our online collection of original Civil War Harper's Weekly newspapers. This archive serves as a valuable tool for researchers and students of the Civil War. The papers contain unique content which is simply not available anywhere else.

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Louisiana Swamp

Louisiana Swamp

England Warning

Warning to England

Anglo Saxon

Loss of the Steamer "Anglo-Saxon"

Brashear City

Brashear City

New Jersey Cavalry

New Jersey Cavalry

Monitor Poem

Monitor Poem

Hospital Ship

Hospital Ship


The Steamer "Escort"

Runaway Slaves

Runaway Slaves

General Hooker's Staff

General Hooker's Staff

Patent Medicine

Patent Medicine Advertisements

Jeff Davis

Jeff Davis Cartoon






[MAY 9, 1863.



We will remember it—England's "neutrality—

We who have witnessed her cowardly craft;

Friendly in seeming, a foe in reality,

Wiping her eyes while she inwardly laughed,


We will remember when round us were lying

Thousands of gallant men, wounded and dead,

Rebels on all sides our pathway defying

"Down with our Rival!" was all England said.


We will remember her sham aristocracy,

Cheerful and jubilant over our fall;

Helping when Treason would stifle democracy,

Turning a deaf ear to Liberty's call.


We will remember with lasting emotion,

When her starved workmen were gasping for breath,

While stores of grain we sent over the ocean,

Her ships came laden with weapons of death!


We will remember the Keokuk sinking,

Riddled with balls "neutral England" had sent;

We will remember her laughing and winking,

Feasting arch-traitors on board of the Trent.


We will remember it when we are stronger,

When once again we stand saved and erect;

Her neutral mask shall shield England no longer,

By her foul deeds she'll know what to expect!


SATURDAY, MAY 9, 1863.

"Scarcely any paper is doing so much for UNION and LIBERTY as Harper's Weekly."—Boston Commonwealth.


THE great question, ever since this war began, has been one of money. Every one who knew the American people was from the first aware that they would fight, and that, without counting the natives, a large army could at all times be mustered from the ranks of the needy European immigrants who come here in search of a living. But the doubtful point at the commencement of the war, and for a long time afterward, was, whether means could be obtained for the prosecution of a great war. When the traitor Cobb resigned the United States Treasury Department, the public credit stood so low that Government could not borrow $10,000,000; and leading banking houses shortly afterward refused to abide by their bids for a United States loan, on the ground that the secession of South Carolina had dissolved the confederacy known as the United States. The interest on the public debt due January 1, 1861, could not have been paid but for spontaneous offers of money from New York bankers, who deemed the risk they ran great enough to warrant them in charging twelve per cent. per annum for the money they lent, in an easy six per cent money market. Foreign opinion unanimously pronounced against our financial future. As we had seldom built a railway without sending bonds to England for sale, it was easily decided by British publicists that we could not conduct a war without British capital; and leading journals confidently announced that if England would steadfastly refuse to lend us money we should be forced to make peace in a few weeks. Thus at home and abroad the very poorest opinion was entertained of the financial strength of the nation. It is probable that no financier ever undertook the management of a more discredited and seemingly hopeless concern than was the United States Treasury when it passed into the hands of SALMON P. CHASE, on 4th March, 1861.

Over two years have elapsed since then—two years of incessant war, waged on a scale previously unknown to history, and at a cost compared to which previous wars were mere guerrilla skirmishes. For at least a year we have kept four armies in the field, each of them greater than the average force of the armies with which Marlborough, Washington, and Napoleon waged war; and three naval squadrons, each of them superior in guns, men, and tonnage to the fleets with which Nelson ruled the seas, and the western powers of Europe, at a later day, so imposingly assailed Sebastopol and Cronstadt. These two years of war have not been years of uniform success for the national cause. Our defeats have been almost as numerous as our victories, and during nearly half this period the prospect, to men of weak nerve, has seemed doubtful and gloomy.

It is a fact, however, that, notwithstanding the bad credit which the nation enjoyed when the war broke out, and the enormous expenditures which have been incurred in its prosecution, we have paid every dollar of the expense without borrowing from abroad, and our credit stands better now than it ever did since the old days of peace. This is a fact so astounding, in view of past history and the present prospect, that the mind can hardly realize it without reflection.

When the war broke out the public debt was, in round numbers, $90,000,000. It is now, at the end of April, as nearly as possible, $1,000,000,000. Of this sum, rather over one-third consists of circulating notes of Government, paper-money, which the people hold and use, and which has become so popular as to exelude, in many localities, the old bank-notes; rather less than another third is funded debt; and the balance is certificates of deposit and indebtedness, payable either on call or within

twelve months—a form of indebtedness apparently liable to become troublesome, but in reality, as is well understood by persons familiar with what statisticians call the law of averages, about as permanent, in ordinary times, as any funded debt.

If the war ended now, the United States, with a population of over 30,000,000 and a gross revenue of about $300,000,000, would find themselves encumbered with a debt of $1,000,000,000. If the war lasts another year the burden will be swelled to $1,600,000,000. If it lasts two years, to $2,250,000,000. Assuming that it does last two years more, the following table will show the relative position of the United States and some of the leading countries of Europe:

It will thus be seen, that after having waged the most tremendous war ever known in the world for two years more, the United States would still have, in 1865, a lighter burden to bear, in proportion to their population, than Great Britain or Spain, and that the revenue, upon which public credit will rest, would be in excess of that of every foreign nation except France. In point of fact, in view of the resources of this country, the enormous amount of unoccupied land, the undeveloped fields for enterprise and capital, and the universal prosperity in ordinary times of the American people, a debt of $10 a head could, in all probability, be borne more lightly by citizens of the United States than one of $5 a head by citizens of Europe.

When the history of this war comes to be written, no part of it will attract more attention or command more admiration than the chapters which relate to finance. It is quite likely that the future historian will be as extravagant in applause of Mr. Chase as some of our newspapers are noisy in abuse of him. Most certainly no previous financial Minister—not even Necker, Pitt, Morris, or Hamilton—ever achieved so much with so little capital to start upon.

If any one had predicted, in May, 1861, that after two years' war, at an expense of $900,000,000, citizens of the United States would offer money to Government at ordinary rates of interest, he would have been set down as a fool. Yet the fact is that people are carrying their money to the Sub-treasuries, and begging Government to take it, at the rate of about $3,000,000 a day; and the subscriptions to the Bonds known as five-twenties, the poorest bond ever offered to the public by Government, are actually in excess of the capacity of the Treasury Department to supply the Bonds. People have to wait a fortnight after paying their money to get their Bonds. In comparison with the spontaneous tender of millions daily by the people of the United States, how pitiful do the famous negotiations of Necker, Pitt, Hamilton, and Napoleon the Third appear! If public men must be judged by success, in the cabinet as in the field, Mr. Chase will have few rivals in history.

The issue of paper-money, which commenced last year, has been the subject of much discussion at borne and abroad. The enemies of the Government here and in Europe pronounced it a fatal error, and predicted that the "green-backs" would follow the way of the French assignats and the Continental Money. Even the friends of the issue only justified it on the ground of inexorable necessity, and did not deny that it involved inconveniences and dangers. But now, after a year's trial of the system, an impartial judge must decide that it has worked well, and that the incidental evils which it has involved bear no proportion whatever to the benefits which it has conferred. It has increased the cost of living, and the market value of all articles of use, necessity, and luxury. But it has simultaneously increased, and to a much greater extent, the capacity of consumers to pay for these articles. If the poor man pays more for his tea and his sugar and his coffee and his clothes, his labor commands much higher wages, and all the articles he produces, by agricultural or mechanical labor, fetch a higher price. Never has there been a time when labor was in so great demand throughout the country as now; never a time when an industrious, frugal man could live better on his wages, and save more, notwithstanding the high price of all articles of consumption. This lively market for all kinds of labor springs directly from the effect of the issues of paper-money; which, coursing through the country like summer rains through parched fields, have given new life to the land, developed agriculture and industry, generated enterprise in regions which were dormant, and enormously increased production and traffic. One only needs to glance at the monthly returns of railway traffic—which show an average increase over last year of nearly 50 per cent.—to perceive how prodigious an impetus these paper-money issues have given to the industry and activity of the country at large.

Another striking evidence of the substantial benefit which these paper-money issues have conferred upon the country, and especially upon the working classes, may be discovered in the progress of immigration from Europe. The immigration

this year will be largely in excess of that of any previous year. The agent of a leading line of steamers states that he is receiving more money for passages from Liverpool to New York than he ever received before: though the money being paid here costs the party who pays it $7 25/100 per £l sterling, instead of $5, as formerly. Our Irish citizens certainly have no fears of the future of this country, and are better able than ever to help their friends to come here.

As to the collapse of the currency, so confidently predicted by foreigners and Copperheads, we are inclined to think that the March panic in gold has modified their views on this subject. People who held gold at 170 when it fell to 138, without any Union victories or other palpable cause, have the best of reasons for entertaining a good opinion of the currency. They are not likely to be caught again in the same scrape. Gold may and probably will rise again, as the tide of speculation ebbs and flows. But when it reaches the neighborhood of 170 he will be a bold man who will care to hold any of the precious metal overnight. Paper-money may be a very bad thing, and the currency may, according to all law and precedent, be bound to depreciate. But after the catastrophe of March we think that not even the most daring of the children of Israel will operate for the rise in gold when it approaches the point from which it so lately fell like the stick of a rocket.

The philosophy of Mr. Chase's issues of paper can be readily discerned. In European countries, where commerce was sluggish, industrial enterprise dull, and there were but few undeveloped resources, issues of paper depreciated rapidly because there was no legitimate channel for their employment. This country, on the contrary, has always been marked by a feverish activity in mercantile, industrial, and agricultural circles. Every body here is a worker and a producer, and every body hitherto has found his work and his production limited by a want of money. Mr. Chase's issues have supplied the deficiency; and the money which in Austria or Turkey or South America would have accumulated idly in bank, and sunk in value from the want of demand for it, has here been greedily sought after by men who had mills to erect, ships to build, steam-engines to make, land to open, factories to start, railroads to extend, canals to dig, commercial houses to establish, and all manner of lucrative enterprises to found or further. On an aggregate paper and specie currency of perhaps $350,000,000 we worked along, leaving many of our most valuable resources undeveloped; and neglecting, for want of money, opportunities which were sure of yielding a handsome reward. A currency of $1,000,000,000 will insure the rapid development of those resources and those opportunities, and the profits thus reaped will in large part be invested in Government securities, and will thus strengthen the Government credit, and protect the paper-money issued by the Treasury from depreciation.



AT the National Gallery we learn through the ears as well as the eyes. It was useful to hear a criticism upon No. 240, Parson's Bridge of Sighs. "What!" said one spectator; "Bridge of Sighs? What does that mean? Have you ever been in Venice?" he asked of his companion. "Never," replied the other. "Well," continued the first, "that is about as much like the Bridge of Sighs as it is like your hat." In No. 254 Mr. De Hass has a quiet, characteristic view in Rotterdam. It recalls the drowsy old Dutch town, and Hood's poem written from Rotterdam to the girl he left behind him, and is one of those pleasingly-colored and suggestive pictures which hold the eye and mind with a vague spell of gentle interest. No. 265, The Balcony, is a Spanish figure by George H. Hall. Mr. Hall's secret sympathy with the characteristic aspects of Spanish life give a value to every subject of this kind which he treats. In tins little work the olive skin, the brilliant eyes, the fan, the mantilla, are, of themselves, Spain. No. 270, A Boy Reading, is one of Mr. Furness's subdued and effective sketches. No. 278, a cluster of golden grapes, admirably done, firm in form and transparent in color, by Mrs. H. P. Gray. It is no technical "good-for-a-lady" work, but an honest study skillfully painted. Mr. G. C. Lambdin, in 285, paints a page from nursery life, Cherries are Ripe, give the Baby one. It has the street sentiment that distinguishes all his works.

Some thirty or forty small pictures of various subjects and excellence, but all showing care, and feeling, and fancy, intervene between the Lambdin and No. 323, Gathering Fagots, by W. J. Hennessy. This, and its pendant, No. 334, Passing Away, and No. 361, The First Day Out, are characteristic specimens of this artist. They are all very small works, but there is a striking tenderness and depth of feeling in them. The sombre hue of No. 323 is harmonious with the simple pathos of the subject: a poor old woman with her back turned, painfully stooping, and feebly picking up sticks at the edge of a wood, while the chill evening comes on. In 334 the old woman, not so poor and forlorn, sits by a dormer window in an attic, and reads her Bible by the last lingering sunlight, which strikes upon the wall behind her; while, in No. 361, the aged, wrinkled grandam holds up by a handkerchief the tottering child, who is for the first time stepping from the door. Those are little works of peculiar promise—as all talent is promise.

The color is not without crudity, and the painter has studied Frere; but he has studied him from sympathy, not from a fascination which results in mere imitation. Nos. 325, Reading the Extra, and 346, Going Home in the Snow, are two of the character sketches for which Mr. Staigg is well known They are simple, expressive, easily and skillfully done and full of expression. Mr. Gray, in No. 335, seizes the musical picture of Drake's Origin of the American Flag, and translates it into spirited form and color. There is a fine dashing movement in the erect figure of Freedom, which echoes the ring of the famous lines. Near by, in No. 331, Mr. Kensett indulges in a Reminiscence of Lake George; whose transparent tranquillity is a spell of dreams upon the spectator. Eternal summer calm broods upon the place where this picture hangs.

The small room is full of small works, many more of which will yet doubtless call for mention and praise. Meanwhile, let us remember how much patient labor and sincere study are represented in pictures which do not greatly impress us, or which seem to be positively poor; and especially ought we critics, who stand before them with the dreadful pencil in our hands—especially ought we to remember that nothing is easier than to ridicule a work which is really excellent, and give a pang to the generous, toiling heart at least, which all the pleasure of a witticism can not excuse. The office of a critic in the Gallery is not to shine at the expense of the painters and their pictures—for what are our criticisms but records of the impressions produced by a momentary glance at works that have been carefully wrought? How many of us have studied as the artist has the aspect of Nature which we censure in his work? How many of us understand the mysteries of the craft of which we speak so learnedly? Of the many Loungers who discourse upon the Exhibition this one confesses that his sense of any inadequacy and imperfection in the pictures is lost in his admiration of the long and brilliant record of study, patience, and skill which is spread upon the walls. Many of these works are the witnesses of an inspiring self-sacrifice and devotion, if not of genius or superior talent. They are evidence of character, at least, if not of capacity. So if you do not find what you came for you may get something else as valuable.

We hope to take another turn through the rooms, for we remember several pictures of which we have not spoken.


KINGLAKE'S history is the most humiliating book for England. He calls it the Invasion of the Crimea, but, by his own showing, it is the story of the invasion and conquest of British honor. Exposing with elaborate detail and relentless precision the crime by which Louis Napoleon and a few other conspirators possessed themselves of France in the night, delineating him as a charlatan and coward, as well as perjurer—as a man whose conduct and career outraged the self-respect of every gentleman in Europe—he proceeds to depict with the same terrible vividness the spectacle of England tied to the conquering car of this conspirator, and the honor of the proud English nobility not revolting at his success in entering Windsor Castle with all the customary ceremonials of an equal monarch—good friend and brother.

With a blush of shame that glows upon every page, this English gentleman describes the wily policy by which the British Cabinet was bamboozled by the French adventurer. He tells of the bloody blow which Louis Napoleon struck France, that it might laugh at him no longer; how France awoke on the 3d December, 1851, to find every famous general of her armies, every distinguished statesman of the country, imprisoned, and a half dozen men masters of her destiny; and then his reluctant but indignant pencil traces the outline of the scene in which with that same stained hand Louis Napoleon welcomes the proud British peer, Fitzroy Somerset, at the Tuileries, and presents him, the chosen friend of Wellington and beloved British soldier, to his own accomplice in perjury and massacre, St. Arnaud, formerly Le Roy.

At this point the fiery indignation of the historian flames out, and he imagines the gentlemen of France who do not know the man who has massacred his way to the Tuileries apostrophizing the English gentlemen whose representative is a guest at the Tuileries with the consent of Britain.

Mr. Kinglake's theory of the Crimean war is that it was a quarrel which should have been and would have been peacefully settled by the concert of the four great powers, but that Louis Napoleon was obliged to divert the eyes of France from itself, and therefore forced England into a separate alliance, and made war necessary, by the ascendency of his talent over that of the British Cabinet; that there was no reason whatever for such an alliance; that its consequences were an unnecessary war and the obsequious subservience of Great Britain to the necessities of a French adventurer.

A more painful work for an Englishman to read and ponder we can not imagine. And a more ludicrous work for an American to read, who has for two years been hearing John Bull denouncing oar war as unnecessary, foolish, wicked, and hopeless, it is impossible to mention.

The work has excited a profound interest, and can not fail to have a very strong and permanent influence upon English opinion. It is written with great earnestness, picturesqueness, and vigor; and the episodical account of the French coup d'etat is the most vivid and complete in our language.


BECAUSE you can't make a peach-tree out of a quince-tree, is there any reason why you should not get it to bear the best quinces possible? If the Lord has made the African race and all colored men so essentially and utterly inferior to the pale


Just published by Harper & Brothers.

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