Semi-Weekly Dispatch: June 18, 1861Go To Page : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
Description of Page: Listing of national, state, and local government officials, column 1; advertisements, columns 1 and 2; poem, column 3
The Causes of Secession
(Column 4)Summary: Proposes that secession was caused by the economic discrepancies between a prosperous North and a poverty-stricken South.
Origin of Article: Edinburgh ReviewFull Text of Article:
From the Edinburgh Review.
The free States of the country, notwithstanding their disadvantages of soil and climate, were prospering, while the slave States were not advancing in a corresponding degree. The North was absorbing all the vigorous voluntary labor of emigration; it was rich; it was covered with profitable railroads; it was full of schools and general intelligence, while the South was poor, and frequently obliged to pledge its coming crop frequently obliged to pledge its coming crop for the necessaries of the present year. Certain disagreeable facts became increasingly prominent. In 1791 the population of the slave States was larger than that of the free by 66,007 persons. In 1860 the number of square miles possessed by the South largely exceeded that of the North, but Northern population was ahead of Southern by 5,443,870 persons. The rate at which population (owing, of course, in great measure, to immigration) increased in the free States, in the last ten years, was forty-one per cent.; in the slave States, twenty-nine per cent. The only decrease in city population, which the last census recorded was of 3,000 souls in Charleston. Virginia, which in 1790 had the first place in population, had sunk to the fifth in 1860. Of eight States which contained over a million of inhabitants, only two were slave States; and of twenty-one cities containing over 40,000 inhabitants, only five were Southern cities.
The imports into the States south of Maryland, in 1859, amounted to $13,000,000 or one-twentieth only of the whole importation of the country. A revenue was derived from the post offices in the free States, while in the slave States the expenditure exceeded the receipts annually by $3,500,000. The total agricultural and manufactured products of the North were sixty per cent, in value above those of the South.
The North contributed five-sixths of the Federal revenue; even including cotton, the exports of the South were $22,000,000 below those of the North, and the imports of the free States exceeded those of the slave States by $216,000,000. The improved lands of the South were only as ten per cent, against fifteen per cent in the North, and land thus occupied was worth six dollars per acre in the slave States, and nineteen dollars in the free States.
When we add to these considerations that the proportional representation gives the free States 150 Representatives and the slave States only 84, and that the economic exigencies of slavery require new territory to replace the overrun and exhausted lands of its reckless and nomadic cotton cultivation, we can understand how the South, groaning under these disabilities and wilfully blind to their cause, adopted the idea that the North was the fatal incubus which pressed it to the ground.
In the list of grievances put forward the Seceders have not been honest with themselves or the country. They raise false issues and conceal the true ones. They go out to gratify the mad ambition of their party leaders, who, because they have lost the control of the Union, seek its destruction, that they may rule a fragment of it--the avarice of their commercial men, who gloat over the riches to be poured into their coffer by free trade--and the craving demands of their planters for new territory and fertile soil. They go out to rid themselves of the moral coercion of Northern sentiment, to pursue that brilliant ignus fatuus of a tropical destiny which forever floats before the eyes of their politicians, and to found an empire of which slavery shall be the distinctive characteristic and controlling interest."
Trailer: "We can understand how the South, groaning under these disabilities and wilfully [sic] blind to their cause, adopted the idea that the North was the vampyre [sic] which lived upon it and sucked its blood, and that connexion [sic] with the North was the fatal incubus which pressed it to the ground."Trouble in Missouri
(Column 5)Summary: Reprint of a proclamation issued by Claiborne F. Jackson, the governor of Missouri, reminding the residents of that state that their first allegiance is to their state and that they have no obligation to "obey the unconstitutional edicts of the military despotism which has inaugurated itself at Washington." The Dispatch comments that the speech demonstrates the underhanded methods that Jackson has used in attempting to bring about Missouri's secession.Buchananism Useful
(Column 5)Summary: Points out that the "rebels" at the South have been preparing for war for the past thirty years by accumulating arms and forts within their borders. Now that they are well-equipped, the Bulletin asserts, Southerners "have a fair chance to show what they can do."
Origin of Article: Evening BulletinFull Text of Article:
There is one great consolation, with regard to the abundant pilferings and preparations of the rebels. Thirty years ago they began to prepare for the contest in which they are now engaged. With the President, Cabinet and other high officials fixed to suit them, in the last Presidential epoch, they have succeeded in stealing all the guns they had men to carry; a quantity of cannon any young nation might be proud of--if honestly obtained--and a large proportion of the forts embraced within the Slave States. With nothing especially lacking, that they would be likely to have on hand, if they had still postponed the attempt several years, they have a fair chance to show what they can do. If they fail now, with every advantage on their side that they could ever expect to have, they will be apt to relinquish the attempt forever. If Fremont or Lincoln had been elected President when Buchanan was, and they had only been able to steal a moiety of what they now hold, and yet, in desperation, had ventured on the insurrection and been speedily quelled, neither party would have been satisfied. The Disunionists would have been ever looking forward to a time when they should have a fair chance to show their ability, and the Unionists would have been ever fearing such an occurrence, and suspicious that, in such a case the rebel cause might prosper. It is apparent now, that the Southern gentlemen who have been complaining so long, according to Mr. Russell, that the Yankees will not give them dueling satisfaction, are, at last, certain to get very decided satisfaction.
This view of the case should reconcile us to the loss of millions upon millions of property stolen, and even to the loss of life that most certainly ensue before the great guns are all made to "sing small." The cannon seizing in Norfolk is the source of much regret, but, in this view, every one of them may be regarded as a maker of permanent peace, though the retaking of them from Americans may be found a very different thing from capturing Mexican batteries.
Description of Page: Further reports from the Wheeling convention in Virginia, article from Tennessee, column 4; reports of a minor battle at Harper's Ferry, column 5; advertisements, column 5
Summary of News
(Column 1)Summary: Reports, among other news items, that all the troops stationed at Fort McClure have been moved forward. The First Wisconsin, the Eleventh Pennsylvania, and the Fourteenth Connecticut regiments moved through town earlier in the week. In addition, a large number of "Columbiad" guns and ammunition have passed through Chambersburg within the past few days.Exchange of Prisoners
(Column 1)Summary: Scoffs at the idea that the federal government will agree to the South's proposition for exchanging prisoners with the North. The editor points out that for the government to do so would be to recognize the Confederacy as an independent belligerent power rather than as "a rebellious army."Opinion of Chief Justice Taney
(Column 2)Summary: Response to the Valley Spirit's condemnation of Justice Taney's decision in the Merryman case. The Dispatch defends the arrest of Merryman, whom it calls a "rabid secessionist," and points out that the Constitution expressly allows the suspension of habeas corpus.
Full Text of Article:Soldiers Have Rights
The Valley Spirit of the 15th, under the above head, speaks of the Merryman case, characterizing it as "the attempt to trample on the Constitution, by destroying the great writ of Habeas Corpus." This is but another attempt on the part of this sympathiser with traitors, to cast a stigma upon the Administration of Mr. Lincoln, create a distrust of the same, and throw a damper upon the ardor of our people in their patriotic efforts to maintain our Constitutional liberties by overthrowing the traitors sworn to destroy them, and who are in the closest bond of alliance with the people who say--"If we only had one of the Royal family of England to rule over us, we should be content."
The right to set aside the Habeas Corpus is distinctly stated in our Constitution. It has been done in the history of our own country in several instances, as shown by the able article in the National Intelligencer, to which we referred in our issue of the 7th, and we should not have referred to it again was it not that the manifest injustice of the Spirit's article, and its tone--so similar to that of the Baltimore Exchange, a rank secession paper--compels us to do so. The facts are:
This Merryman is a rabid secessionist, and was in open communication with the enemy in time of war. He had committed overt acts of treason, of which there is the strongest proof. Gen. Cadwallader, then commandant of that Military District, ordered his arrest, as he had a perfect right to do, as a prisoner of war, and the only error committed, if any, was the wording of Gen. Cadwallader's return to Judge Taney.
A form of return by ex-Gov. Reeder we give below, and think it unanswerable by Judge Taney or his abettors, and unexceptionable to all men but traitors at heart:
Form of Return.
"To the Hon. Roger B. Taney, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
"The undersigned, to whom is directed the within writ, in obedience thereto makes the following return: That the said J. M., in said writ mentioned, is in the custody and keeping of this defendant, and restrained of his liberty, as in said writ set forth, for the following causes, to wit: That when the said J. M. was first restrained of his liberty, as in said writ set forth, for the following causes, to wit: That when the said J. M. was first restrained of his liberty, as aforesaid, and from thence hitherto, a war has existed between the Government of the United States and a Government called the Confederate States of America; that hostile armies were and still are on the field, on either side, between whom engagements have already taken place; that when the said J. M. came into the custody of this defendant, and from thence hitherto, this defendant was a Brigadier-General in one of the said hostile armies, to wit: in the Army of the United States, and in the actual command of a portion of said army, and of the Military Department of -------, as created and defined by the President of the United States through the department of War; that the within named J. M. has not been arrested or detained under any civil process, or pretence of civil process, or for the purpose of committal into the hands of the civil tribunals for trial; but that being friendly to and connected with the hostile army, he was engaged in assisting their operations against the Army of the United States, and for that reason was captured in said Department under my command, by troops under my command, as a prisoner of war: and he is now held and detained by me in my capacity of Brigadier-General as a prisoner of war of the Army of the United States."
In suggesting the above form of return, Gov. R. sustains it with indisputable argument, from which we take the following:
A return substantially of this tenor, (while it would not at all prevent handing Mr. J. M. over to the Courts for trial for treason, or any other offence, when the Government was ready to do so), would, it seems to me, at once paralyze the Judge for further action on the habeas corpus, and put an end to the controversy. The opinion of the Chief Justice, which, with much plausibility, attacks the summary action of a military commander in arresting and detaining a citizen without process for the commission of an offence indictable in the Courts, would become so inapplicable that he would be ashamed to use if, for the point presented to his decision would be entirely changed. No Judge could gainsay or controvert the force of such a return, as it seems to me, except upon absurd and untenable ground. He would be compelled to thrust his judicial authority into the camp of a fighting army, and dispute with the commander the right to decide who are and who are not proper prisoners of war; and, having usurped the power to judge of that question, he must then, upon evidence given before him, decide that J. M. had not committed any act to justify his being captured and detained as a prisoner of war. All this he must do before he could escape the force of the facts stated in the return; and he would be wrong at every step.
(Column 3)Summary: The Dispatch voices agreement with the Lebanon Courier in its condemnation of fraudulent practices that prevent soldiers from receiving proper clothing and food.
Full Text of Article:Wilson's N. Y. Zouaves
The Harrisburg Telegraph, in advocating stricter discipline among our soldiers, refers sneeringly to the complaints about the clothing furnished, saying that we do not want "critics on the art of making shoes and breeches"--that "whether complaints be well or ill founded, if they tend to detract from the discipline or effectiveness of army they should be treated as insubordination, and punished as such." We assent to the demand for strict discipline, but we protest against any attempt to close the mouths of our gallant soldiers when thieving or dishonest officials attempt to impose upon them. Our volunteers are American citizens, many of them having left pleasant homes and lucrative employment to go to their country's defence. They are the peers of any man in the nation. The men must not, therefore, be gagged; but if they are wronged, theirs is the right to state their grievances, and we shall ever sustain them in that right. It would be a very pleasant thing for those who would plunder the soldiers, to have the right to require silence of them, on the ground that complaints affect discipline, but the country will never justify such protection to villainy. We feel that there are plenty of scoundrels watching like hyenas to prey on the soldiers or the country wherever opportunity may offer, and we require the fullest and freest liberty of expression to guard against them or to expose and punish them. We war on the plunderers of the North, in whatever shape they take, with as bitter a hostility as we can bring against secession. We can, therefore, give no countenance to any plan for covering up their sins.
The above is from the Lebanon Courier of the 13th inst. It is simply just, and ought to elicit the assent of every man in Pennsylvania. Reducing soldiers to mere machines will, perhaps, do well enough in the armies of the despotic governments of Europe, but in our "free and equal" acknowledging country, where thousands in the ranks are in every way equal (and in numerous instances far superior) to the officers who command them, it cannot and must not be done. If mind is superior to matter, then let all the mind possible be brought into action. Let our soldiers feel that, in entering our army, they never threw off their manhood. Then insubordination will not be complained of; subordination will not be forced, and the men will fight and obey in the same manner and spirit in which they enrolled their names as volunteers in the Army of Liberty.
(Column 3)Summary: Reports that the New York Sixth regiment has departed on the steamship Vanderbilt for a Southern destination. Reprints parts of a speech given by Colonel Wilson on their embarkation.
Description of Page: Brief news items, column 2; prices current, column 3; advertisements, columns 3-5
Chambersburg Bids for the State Loan
(Column 1)Summary: Reports that toward the state loan of $3,000,000 the Chambersburg Bank bid $40,000; J. Allison Eyster bid $10,000; and the Cumberland Valley Railroad bid $1,000.Return of Capt. Doubleday
(Names in announcement: Allison Eyster)
(Column 1)Summary: Reports the return of Captain Doubleday and his troops to Chambersburg from Harper's Ferry because of the retreat of the Southern troops from that place.The Telegraph
(Column 1)Summary: Announces that the government is erecting telegraph lines all along the railroad to Hagerstown so that it can keep up constant communication with the army.Capture of Arms
(Column 1)Summary: Company B of the Second Pennsylvania regiment recovered forty to fifty flint lock rifles and an iron twelve-pounder cannon mounted on wheels from the house of a tavern keeper in Funkstown who was storing the arms for the Confederacy.A Card of Thanks
(Column 1)Summary: A note of thanks to the people of Chambersburg, and to Mr. and Mrs. Nead and Mr. and Mrs. Harman in particular, for the kindness they paid to Company A of the Third Regiment of Pennsylvania volunteers.
(Names in announcement: Mr. Nead, Mrs. Nead, Mr. Harman, Mrs. Harman)
Description of Page: Reprint of a letter from Jefferson Davis to the Maryland Commissioners, column 1; anecdote, brief article on arms for Western Virginia, column 1; advertisements, columns 1-5