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THANKS TO GRANT.
"Be it resolved by the
Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress
assembled, That the thanks of Congress be and they hereby are presented to
ULYSSES S. GRANT,
and through him to the officers and soldiers who have fought under his command
during the rebellion, for their gallantry and good conduct in the battles in
which they have been engaged; and that the President of the United States be
requested to cause a
to be struck, with suitable emblems, devices, and inscriptions, to be presented
And be it further resolved, That, when the said
MEDAL shall have been struck, the President shall cause a copy of this
joint resolution to be engrossed on parchment, and shall transmit the same,
together with the said
MEDAL, to Major-General
GRANT, to be presented to him in the name of the people of the United
States of America.
And be it further resolved,
That a sufficient sum of money to carry this resolution into effect is
hereby appropriated out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise
[Passed without opposition in both Houses: Approved by the President and the
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 1864.
OWING to some delay
in the transmission of the advance sheets of Mr.
paper, we are
obliged to omit, in the present Number, the continuation
of the story, "A WHITE a HAND AND
A BLACK THUMB."
The story will be continued in our next Number, and will be regularly published
until its completion.]
OUR FOREIGN RELATIONS.
THE correspondence of the State Department, now published, shows how industrious
Secretary Seward has been. The two most interesting points in it, of course, are
the question of the English rebel rams and the French conquest of Mexico. Mr.
Seward treats the first with firmness, ability, and skill. The sailing of the
rams would have been undoubtedly a cause of war;
for, as Mr. Seward well and plainly says to Mr. Adams, on the 5th of
October, 1863: "The resistance of foreign aggression by all the means in our
power, and at the hazard, if need be, of the national life itself, is the one
point of policy on which the American people seem to be unanimous, and in
complete harmony with the President." It was doubtless the continued success of
our arms, supported by the most unflinching statement of this truth by Mr.
Adams, which brought from Lord Russell, on the 8th of September, 1863, the
extremely curt and crisp announcement that the rams would not sail. Throughout
the correspondence Mr. Adams appears in the best light: prompt, calm, sagacious,
persistent; nor has Lord Russell the least reason to congratulate himself upon
any advantage in argument, comprehension, or temper.
The treatment of the Mexican question with France required of Mr. Seward not
only firmness but adroitness. For, counting upon our defeat, Louis Napoleon has
conquered and is occupying Mexico. It is step already taken. His dilemma is
obvious: how to remain with safety, or how to retreat with honor. Our question
is not less embarrassing: how to assert our traditional policy so as to persuade
him that he had better withdraw. It is not an easy task. The Secretary states
our policy thus: The United States have no right nor wish to interfere in the
war between France and Mexico; but they
believe that free institutions in the nations around them are essential
to their own safety, and if France should adopt an adverse policy there would be
great risk of serious collision between her and this country. On the 23d of
October, 1863, Mr. Seward writes that this Government does not consider the war
in Mexico ended, nor the Mexican Government with which it has friendly relations
overthrown. Therefore it can not entertain any question of a new Government, but
will recognize he sovereignty and independence of the Mexican people in whatever
form that people may choose, in the exercise of an absolute freedom, to manifest
This is rather foggy. Does it mean that if they choose to manifest them in the
form of an Austrian empire upheld by French bayonets that it will recognize it?
Or does it mean that the choice of an empire will be regarded as proof that
absolute freedom of election has not been exercised? Or is it left purposely
foggy? It is not satisfactory, and is very probably not meant to be.
We wish that Mr. Seward could have omitted one or two phrases in the French
correspondence, and that, without losing the tone of diplomatic courtesy, he
could have avoided all taint of obsequiousness. Surely there was no need of
saying that Louis Napoleon assumed the reins of empire in France "in obedience
to her voice," because the empire
was notoriously a coup d'etat.
If his subsequent election was the result of an absolute freedom of choice, Mr.
Seward can not refuse to acknowledge the same thing in Mexico, and recognize
Maximilian as assuming the reins of empire "in obedience to her voice." Then, is
it quite worthy the Secretary of State to present to Spain the continued
enjoyment of slavery in Cuba as the reward of
friendship for the United States? If we had no other inducement to offer her,
wouldn't it be better to take the risk of her hostility?
These are blemishes in a very able and remarkable diplomatic correspondence.
PRIDE AND SENSITIVENESS.
THE "Life of
General Butler," by Mr. Parton, will show the interested reader why
Mr. Reverdy Johnson, who was sent to New Orleans to investigate the General's
conduct of affairs, so constantly thwarted that most able and skillful officer,
and so invariably favored the enemies of his country and Government. He has made
a speech in the Senate of the United States, and incidentally drops the
explanation. It is because he considers the rebels "proud and sensitive." That
the pride of the Government of the United States requires that the rebellion be
so subdued that it may not burst forth again does not seem to occur to him. That
the loyal people of the land may be quite as "sensitive" as rebel slaveholders
is a fact he has yet to learn.
Does Mr. Senator Reverdy Johnson really think that the time has not gone by for
the ancient and foolish twaddle about the "high spirit," the "gentlemanly tone,"
the "pride," and the "sensitiveness," of men who sell their own and other
people's children? That in every
condition of society which is barbarous, and slavery is the distinctive
sign of barbarism, there should be a certain heat and fierceness of feeling, is
attested by universal experience. The chiefs are always impatient of control,
dictatorial, self-indulgent, dogmatic. They use the club, the bowie-knife, or
the pistol, upon the least occasion. But why should a man like Mr. Johnson, who
has had the advantage of mingling with a society of which respect for human
rights is a cardinal principle, permit himself to
repeat these phrases which are now as ludicrous as they are obsolete?
Does this worthy and belated Senator really think that Charles Stuart was a man
of higher "pride" than John Hampden, or that Strafford was more "sensitive" than
Pym? The Southern people, who are not rebel leaders, may be an honest folk; but
tickling the "proud and sensitive" nerves of slave masters is not the business
which the American people now has in hand.
A LOUD CRY.
OUR view of the
rebel prospects has received most striking confirmation in the
tone of all the public as well as private news lately received from the seat of
insurrection. The Raleigh (North Carolina)
Standard has, indeed, one very striking article, in which it sets forth
the astounding fact that the rebel Congress is controlled by members from States
which do not belong to the Confederacy. Representatives from
Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana, impose, according to the
Standard, "odious and oppressive laws," which can no more be enforced
upon the people of those States than upon those of New York or New England!
Here is representative government with a vengeance! Here is a paradise of the
people for which it was worth while to break away from the "Yankee despotism!"
The rebel Congress, composed as we have stated, decrees taxes, impressments, and
conscriptions upon the people of North Carolina, for instance, which it can not
enforce in half of what is called "the Confederacy;" and unless we suppose a
higher than the average degree of devotion to the rebellion upon the part of
North Carolina, it will be presently taking steps, as the
Standard says, to "protect her children."
It is very plain, from testimony of many kinds,
that the mind of the deluded and betrayed Southern population is
beginning to awake. They see that the world has gone on without Southern cotton
for three years. They see that the secession which was to bring them such peace
and prosperity has brought them untold woe. They see that the European powers,
which were sure to acknowledge them, turn a colder shoulder than ever. They see
their domain contracting; their families starving or carried off; trade at
an end; industry only supporting an army which feeds upon them, and into
whose ranks they are forced. They see their slaves freed, escaping, and restive.
They see their soil saturated with the blood of their own children; and they see
opposed to them a nation constantly reinforcing its armies, prospering and
active and resolved, holding out to the people of the South the hand
of fellowship on such terms as no honorable men will persistently reject.
How long is this likely to continue?
The hold of the leaders of the rebellion upon the people is very tenacious, and
its tenure is Slavery. For however wretched and poor the whites may be, just in
the degree of their ignorance will they be content, so long as there is a
proscribed race below them. Remove the proscription and you destroy their
contentment. Remove the proscription and they turn upon their leaders and ask,
"What are we fighting for? Without Slavery what is Southern Independence worth?
And with Slavery are we not the most unmitigatedly wretched of American
The very presence of our armies will teach them to ask these questions. We know,
and the rebel chiefs know, and the
Copperhead allies know, that to such questions there can be but
one answer, and that these men will gladly agree
that the Slavery which has enthralled them, and in which they had and
could have no proprietary interest, shall be destroyed and forever. Then we
shall have peace, and not before.
MR. PARTON'S "Life of
General Butler" is a very valuable contribution to the
history of the war, because it is so vivid a portraiture of the most remarkable
man, upon the whole, that the war has developed. When the struggle began
it was natural to suppose that the Yankee genius would show itself in
prompt and daring action, in a perfect equality to every unexpected occasion,
and a general readiness, wit, and practical wisdom, which are always associated
with the Yankee name. But certainly there has been a profound disappointment in
this expectation. Sturdy, steady, patient heroism we have seen, and clear
principle and unshrinking resolution, but the typical Yankee traits have been
nowhere so plainly and constantly exhibited as in the career of General Butler.
in the winter of 1860-'61 he saw that the war was coming, and, parting with his
late political allies, went home to prepare to fight them as traitors and
rebels. He apprehended the scope of the struggle, and from the moment he
occupied Annapolis until that in which he is intrusted with the settlement of
the question of exchange of prisoners, his shrewd insight, his self-possession,
his various knowledge, his mother-wit, and his good-humored heroism, have
enabled him to meet every kind of difficulty, and solve it with a success so
brilliant, that the public confidence in his genius and resources is profound
The earlier parts of his military career in Maryland are very interesting, and
are related with great spirit by Mr. Parton. That gentleman does not spare the
military plans and conceptions of General Scott, and it is certainly amusing to
read that while that General was
maturing a grand programme for capturing Baltimore
(as his successor did afterward, for bagging the whole rebellion), by
which four columns of three thousand men each were to move simultaneously upon
the city, General Butler advanced
into the environs with a few companies, halted them, trotted with his
staff into the city, and Baltimore was taken. It has been held from that moment.
The solemn snubbing administered to
General Butler from head-quarters at Washington read, under the
circumstances, like chapters from Gil Blas. The worship and cant of "strategy"
had already begun.
The capture of Baltimore was characteristic of General Butler's method. It is
the application of common sense, heroism, and perception to the case in hand.
His disposition of the practical question of slavery, as he met it at Fort
Monroe, was another striking illustration. The slaves in his eye were
"contraband of war;" thus, as Theodore Winthrop said, slavery was abolished by
But the occupation and government of
New Orleans is the most signal event in his
history. Has the war produced another man who could have done that work? Whether
with rebels, or conditional Union men, or slaves, or slaveholders, or foreign
consuls; with sea-captains, silly
women, Bank presidents, mayors, common councils, and merchants; with
questions of law, of precedent, domestic, international, and foreign, of the
most stern and summary justice or the
wisest forbearance—he carries the same high humor,
copious resource, and inexorable decision; so that there is no way left
for rebels, who are baffled by him at every turn and in every wile, but to call
him Beast, and set a price upon his head. Mr. Parton very plainly intimates that
General Butler's decisive way of dealing with
all rebels, and rebel accomplices, in New Orleans,
tended to a disturbance of the equanimity of our foreign relations, which
Mr. Seward was assiduously striving
to maintain, and that the Secretary of State was really the cause of
General Butler's removal from the Department of the Gulf.
General Banks followed
him, to try the policy of conciliation, which almost cost us Louisiana. That was
a policy which General Butler never approved from the outbreak of the rebellion,
for he was profoundly persuaded that in trying to tickle tigers you run
tremendous risks. General Banks did
not persevere, and Louisiana has been retained.
From his previous intimacy with the leaders of the rebellion General Butler has
always comprehended the significance of the war. He knew it was a radical
struggle in which one principle or the other must prevail. The leaders he knew
to be daring and desperate. The people he knew to be deluded; and probably no
man is less surprised than he by
the course the war has taken. Of all our conspicuous actors in the
struggle no one has thrown himself into it more heartily, intelligibly, and
unreservedly; and although he is yet scarcely in the prime of life, the copious
and delightful biography of Mr. Parton shows General Butler to be already one of
the most original characters in our history.
THE BROWN CODE.
THE new rebel conscription law, without which
the insurgent armies can not be reinforced, makes
Jefferson Davis as absolute a Dictator as ever Robespierre was in France. The
Macon Telegraph in Georgia plainly
exposes the scheme. By the law of Mr. Brown every able-bodied man in the
Confederacy, including the rebel President, Senators,
Governors, and Judges is to be impressed into the
service. Then if the lame, and blind, and superannuated
are not enough to do the work necessary for
the support of the army, men are to be detailed from the army for the purpose.
But who is to detail them? The worthy President
of the Confederacy! Thus he has it all in his own
hands. He is to detail the governors, judges,
merchants, farmers, senators! A more ludicrous
plan was never proposed. It virtually puts the
power over every person and all property into the
hands of one irresponsible man. We commend this
last stroke to the profound consideration of the foreign
and domestic gentlemen who are fond of contrasting
the far-reaching sagacity of the Southern
statesman with the puerile plans of Lincoln's minions.
BEFORE the last Presidential election there were
certain papers and orators who used to inform us
that if we did not vote for Mr. Breckinridge, or if
Mr. Lincoln were
elected, the grass would grow in the
city of New York. Mr. Lincoln was elected, but the grass has not yet started,
except in the Central Park.
Now that another election approaches the
same papers are beginning the
same tune. If Mr. Lincoln is voted for this time blood is to flow, and
the election is to end in
universal massacre. Would people know how to avoid such terrible consequences,
ask the wiseacres, vote for our candidate!
It does not seem to occur to these astute politicians
that an election carried under any threat of
this kind is simply the end of Government, and the failure of the
Democratic principle. If we can avoid civil war only by voting for one man the
election is a farce, and the one man would do us
all a signal service if he quietly took possession of the Government
without the form of an election.
These Bourbon gentlemen, who learn nothing
from events, can not see that the game of carrying
elections by terror is, for the present at least, ended.
When the leaders, now in rebellion, used to shake
their heads solemnly and say that if they could not have their own way
"the South" would be compelled to
dissolve the Union, the nation used to surrender,
and they graciously permitted the Union to continue. Their organs at the
North were so well broken to this kind of tactics that they can not
emancipate themselves, and are beginning, in the
old way, to threaten the horrors that will befall us if we elect a
President who pleases us.
There are certain old dogs in Italy which, long after they have lost their
voices, still open their mouths fiercely and go through all the forms of
barking. But they were never known to frighten any body.
THE many friends and former enthusiasts for Alexander
Smith will be surprised by the limpid purity
and simplicity of style with which he has written a
book of essays in the character of a placid old man
in the placid old village of "Dreamthorp" (J. E. Tilton & Co., Boston),
which gives the title to the book,
which is most neatly printed and bound. There are twelve most pleasant,
not like Bacon's or Emerson's or Montaigne's, but
ripe and quiet and sunny, and a great deal more
genial and agreeable than the Rev. Mr. Boyd's. "Dreamthorp" is a charming
book for the cars, or
a frosty evening by the fire, or a summer day in the
country. It still seems quite impossible that the author of a "Life Drama"
should have written "Dreamthorp," but we are inclined to think that
the liking for the latter will be more permanent and
In the "Life of William H. Prescott," by George Ticknor (Ticknor & Fields), we
have a sumptuous quarto; a work
typographically exquisite and unique in American book-making; the
printers being Welch, Bigelow, & Co., at the University Press, Cambridge. It is
the life of an amiable scholar and
gentleman, whose misfortune in the
practical loss of sight not only did not sour his natural
kindliness of nature, but kindled his ambition,
so that, devoting himself to historical composition,
he became a famous author. It is
a purely literary
life, and is certainly very interesting, enriched with
many letters from distinguished men of the time,
and abounding in that personal anecdote and gossip,
which, while they amuse the reader, most clearly
illustrate the subject of the memoir. Fortunate in all but his partial
blindness, in family, friends,
worldly ease, he leaned to the soft, polished, conservative
side of life; and throughout the tale you
move in a society as select as the book
is sumptuous. There
is the rustle of silks and satins, the
exchange of perfumed compliments and billet-doux;
the steady stream of mutual incense on every hand;
drawing-rooms, courts, high society;
winds, poverty, and the battle of life, seem simply incredible. Mr.
Ticknor's long and entire intimacy with Mr. Prescott peculiarly fitted him for
writing the life, the successive events of which he
has apparently most faithfully narrated. It would
have been pleasant to find that Mr. Prescott had the heroism of a great
scholar; that he did not shrink from contact with public affairs at a time
when no man of influence and talent should have
refused to give his heartiest sympathy and service,
after his kind, to his country; and to discover that he was never deluded
by the dull indifference to human
welfare which calls itself conservatism. But
scholar can not
be Milton or Languet; and
gay, genial, and graceful
fitted (Next Page)