LITERATURE AND NATIONAL POLICY.
VOL. II.—DECEMBER, 1862.—NO. VI.
On the 10th of April last, upon the recommendation of the President of the United States, Congress offered pecuniary aid to such States as would gradually abolish slavery within their limits. The colonization, from time to time, of the manumitted slaves, with their consent, by the Government, beyond our boundaries, was also contemplated as a part of the system. By the President's proclamation of September last, this offer is still made to loyal States, and practical measures suggested for carrying it into execution. As to the States persisting in rebellion after the close of this year, the President, as a military necessity, has announced a different measure, that is, general emancipation in all such States, with compensation only to loyal masters. Immediate emancipation of all slaves, with compensation for all, costing, as it would, twelve hundred millions of dollars, is now beyond the power of the Government, burdened as it is by an enormous and increasing debt. Nor was such a measure ever wise or expedient. That subject I will discuss hereafter, but will speak now of the plan proposed by the President, and sanctioned by Congress on the 10th of April last.
If this measure seems slow in securing total manumission and colonization, it would be progressive and certain. God works out the destiny of nations by no sudden or spasmodic action. His great and beneficent changes are generally slow and gradual, but when he wills destruction, it is sudden as the lightning's flash, the crash of the earthquake, or the sweep of the hurricane, marked by ruin and desolation. Would we avoid like disasters in solving this stupendous problem, we must follow, in humble faith, the ways of God, and thus by gentle, but constant and successive movements, reach the grand result.
History, however, exhibits a few extraordinary cases, in which man, as an instrument in the hands of Providence, sometimes punishes great crimes, eradicates great evils, and accomplishes great national reforms by acts as sudden as the devastating career of the tempest in sweeping away pestilential vapors. Such may be the case with the revolted States, if they should persist in this wicked rebellion beyond the close of the period of solemn warning.
The coming year may be the great crisis of human destiny. It may see our rivers, like those of Egypt, turned into blood. It may witness similar loathsome plagues, and pestilence, and fiery hail, and darkness palpable. But may it never behold the dread work of the destroying angel as of old, at the midnight hour, in every dwelling whose lintels were unmarked by the typical blood of the Paschal sacrifice! Avoiding the last dread scene of the great Egyptian drama, may we have, not the Jewish Passover, but the grand American jubilee, when we may hail the South redeemed from the curse of slavery, and forever united with the North, as the one blessed home of universal freedom.
As the South was as earnest as the North in protesting against the landing upon our shores of the first cargo of African slaves, and the continuance of the traffic so long forced upon us under the British flag, and as they all united in excluding the word 'slave' from the Federal Constitution, so will they ultimately cooeperate in expunging from our system the institution of slavery.
I shall discuss this question as to the border States under no sectional or party aspect, no influence of passion or prejudice, or any motive but the desire to promote the good of my country. Our national and material interests must be fully considered, as also those great moral principles and intellectual developments which exalt and dignify the character of man. I shall examine the subject inductively and deductively, the facts and the causes.
That a return to the Union with gradual emancipation and colonization by the rebel States would be best for them and for us is certain. But in justice to loyal citizens and communities, and to avoid the danger of foreign intervention by prolonging the contest, it is our duty, after the close of this year, to withdraw the slaves in the rebel States from the culture of the crops used to support their armies, which can only be done by general emancipation in such States persisting then in the rebellion. This is a necessary war measure, designed, like battles or blockades, to suppress the rebellion (alike ruinous to North and South), and which must no longer be permitted to accumulate an immense debt and oppressive taxation, and to exhaust our blood and treasure. The census shows that very few slaves are held by the deluded masses of the South, that the slaveholders are few in number; and full compensation is contemplated by Congress and the President, in all cases of the manumission by us of the slaves of loyal citizens.
By the census of 1790, all the sixteen States then enumerated held slaves, except Massachusetts (then including Maine, although numbered separately), where the institution was abolished by a judicial construction of their constitution of 1780. The following table, from the census, shows the gradual disappearance of slavery from seven of these States, the remaining eight States still continuing the institution:
1790 1800 1810 1820 '30 '40 '50 '60 N. Hamp. 158 8 R. Island 952 381 108 48 17 5 Conn. 2,759 951 310 97 25 17 Vermont 17 N. York 21,824 20,343 15,017 10,088 75 4 N. Jer. 11,423 12,422 10,851 7,657 2,254 674 236 18 Penn. 3,737 1,706 795 408 211 64
Illinois, by her constitution of 1818, continued slavery in the State, but declared that 'children hereafter born shall be free.' An effort was made in Congress to defeat the admission of Illinois, on the ground that its constitution 'did not conform to the ordinance of 1787.' But it was then decided by the House of Representatives (117 to 54) that 'the ordinance did not extend to States.' In the Senate the vote was unanimous. (See Niles's Register, vol. xix. p. 30.) Rhode Island adopted the Pennsylvania system. Connecticut declared free, at the age of 26, all born after the 1st March, 1784. Indiana pursued in its results the course of Illinois. By the census, Illinois had 917 slaves in 1820, 747 in 1830, 331 in 1840; and Indiana had 190 slaves in 1820, 3 in 1830, and 3 in 1840. New York in 1799 continued in bondage the slaves then living, but those born after the date of the law were emancipated at the age of 28; and in New Jersey, the males at 25 and the females at 21. This slow and gradual process in States having so few slaves, should inculcate kinder and more indulgent feelings as to those loyal communities where the slaves are so much more numerous, and the time and mode of action so vital.
The great model act of gradual emancipation, drawn by Benjamin Franklin, the great leader on this question, approved by the Quakers, and adopted by Pennsylvania in 1780, liberated all the descendants of slaves born after that date within the limits of the State. To avoid circumlocution, I shall call those born before the date of emancipating laws the ante nati, and those born after the date of such laws, post nati.
I shall consider first the question of gradual emancipation and colonization in connection with Maryland, and afterward apply the same principles to other States.
If the Pennsylvania system of liberating immediately only the post nati, so much more liberal than that of most of the free States, were adopted by Maryland, the cost of manumission there would be very small. In the execution of the emancipation act of Congress in this District, infant slaves were valued officially this year by sworn experts at $50 each. Now by the census of 1860, the infant slaves of Maryland, under one year old, surviving on the 1st June, 1860, numbered 2,391, which, at $50 each, would cost $119,550. This would be the actual expense for the first year in Maryland, but decreasing every year, and ceasing altogether in little more than a generation. Now the total number of slaves under one year of age, born in all the slave States, and surviving on the 1st June, 1860, was, by the census, 113,581, which, at $50 each, would cost $5,679,050, for the first year, and decreasing annually as above stated. The post nati numbered in Delaware 40, in Kentucky 7,281, in Missouri 3,377, and in Virginia 13,850, making the first year's cost as follows:
Maryland $119,550 Delaware 2,000 Kentucky 364,050 Missouri 168,850 ———— 654,450 Virginia 692,500 ————— Total, $1,346,950
Now then, applying this principle to Maryland, Delaware, Kentucky, and Missouri, the cost, the first year, would be $654,450, and, if we included Virginia, $1,346,950. This sum, we have seen, would decrease every year. According then to the annual tables, and those of expectancies of life (as calculated for me), the sum of fifteen millions of dollars of United States stock, issued now, and bearing interest at the rate of six per cent, per annum, would make all the border States free States, in the same sense in which Pennsylvania and other Northern free States became so; and less than half this sum, if Virginia should not adopt the measure. The case, then, as regards the border States, presents no financial difficulty whatever. If this plan were adopted, the same just and humane course would doubtless be pursued as in the North, by which the emancipated post nati would remain apprentices until they reached twenty-one years of age, under the same regulations, mainly, as were applicable to white children, bound out by the overseers of the poor. Should the border States consent to proceed more rapidly, I have no doubt the Government would cheerfully pay to loyal masters such additional sum as would give freedom to every slave in all the border States, on the 4th of July, 1876, our first centennial anniversary of the Declaration of American Independence. That day, then, already so distinguished in the annals of humanity, would become the great epoch in the history of our race.
And now let us examine the cost of all these measures. If the seceded States, including Virginia, should persist in the rebellion until after the close of this year, the sum to be paid the loyal owners of slaves manumitted under the President's war proclamation would probably reach $100,000,000. The emancipation of the post nati, in the four remaining border States, would cost Sec.7,288,132. The manumission in those States, of all the surviving slaves, on the 4th July, 1876, according to the same tables and estimates, would cost a sum equal to $65,000,000, issued now as United States six per cent. stock, making a total for complete emancipation in all the slave States of $172,288,132. This is a smaller sum than four months' cost of the war, whilst wholly and forever removing the discordant element which produced the rebellion, commencing a new and glorious career of material, moral, and intellectual progress, greatly exalting the character of the nation, invoking the blessing of God, securing the future harmony and perpetuity of the Union, and the ultimate fraternity of man. Never, before, would any nation have made so grand an investment in the gratitude of emancipated millions, the thanks of a world redeemed from bondage, the applause of the present age and of posterity—the exchequer of time and eternity. It would live forever in history, and the recording angel would inscribe it in God's eternal archives. Statesmen, scholars, savans, philosophers, poets, patriots, orators, and divines would proclaim its glory. The new drama of man's political redemption would be witnessed by the audience of the world. Music would chant its praise in every clime, and all peoples would swell the chorus. The painter would give it immortality, and the sculptor monuments more enduring than the pyramids, statues more godlike and sublime than ever crowned Grecian Parthenon, or adorned with Parian marble the temples of Augustan Rome. The press would glow with enthusiasm, and the procession of nations march in the grand ovation, not to national airs, or under national banners, but under the world's new flag, and to the music of the world's new anthem of universal freedom and regenerated man.
The census proves that our progress as a nation has been greatly retarded by slavery. If the North had retained, and the South had abolished slavery, their relative positions would have been reversed. Virginia would have taken the place of New York, Maryland of Massachusetts, Delaware of Rhode Island, Kentucky of Ohio, Missouri of Illinois, and Tennessee of Indiana.
I begin with Maryland, because, in proportion to her area, she has greater natural advantages than any one of the thirty-four States, and, if the comparison with the free States is most unfavorable to her, it will be more so as to any other Southern State, as the census shows that, from 1790 to 1860, and from 1850 to 1860, Maryland increased in population per square mile more rapidly than any other slaveholding State.
Maryland borders for two hundred miles the great free State of Pennsylvania, and Delaware one hundred and thirty miles, whose slaves have decreased from 8,887 in 1790, to 1,798 in 1860, and where slavery now exists in name only. Delaware, like Maryland, is also a loyal State, and would be the last to leave the Union, which it was her glory first to enter under the Constitution of 1787. On the west, Maryland is bounded by Preston county, Virginia, containing in 1860 a free population of 13,312, and 67 slaves only. Western Virginia, bordering Maryland on the south, has voted with great unanimity to become a free State, and all appearances indicate that slavery will disappear from Virginia with the close of this year. Maryland then would be surrounded entirely by non-slaveholding States.
Within the heart of Maryland stands this District, where slavery is now abolished, producing serious losses and embarrassments to the State. The two counties of Prince George and Montgomery, adjoining this District, contained in 1860, 17,790 slaves, being more than one fifth of the slaves of the State. How long can slavery endure, and of what value is it in these counties, where every slave brought or sent to the District is free, and where it is already seriously contended that the language of the Constitution, 'slaves in one State, escaping into another,' cannot apply to this District? With the feeling so intensified already by this rebellion against slavery, it cannot long exist in Maryland. By advancing legislation, and public sentiment, the fugitive slave law is becoming inoperative, and slaves in Maryland are now held by a most precarious tenure. Indeed, unforeseen events, as this terrible rebellion progresses, may sweep slavery from Maryland without compensation or colonization.
But, independent of present or future perils, it is proposed to prove, mainly by the census, that all the material interests of Maryland would be greatly promoted by her prompt acceptance of the offer of Congress. We must consider the area, soil, climate, mines, hydraulic power, location, shore line, bays, sounds, and rivers, and such other causes as affect the advance of wealth and population.
The relative progress of Maryland has been slow indeed. The population of the Union, by the census of 1790, was 3,929,827, of which Maryland, containing then 319,728, constituted a twelfth part (12.29). In 1860, the Union numbered 31,445,080, and Maryland 687,034, constituting a forty-fifth part (45.76). In 1790, the free States numbered 1,968,455, Maryland's population then being equal to one sixth (6.12); but, in 1860, the population of the free States was 18,920,078, Maryland's number then being equal to one twenty-seventh part (27.52). But, if Maryland had increased as rapidly from 1790 to 1860 as the whole Union, her proportion, one twelfth part, would have made her numbers in 1860, 2,620,315; and if her proportional increase had equalled that of the free States, her ratio, one sixth, would have made her population in 1860, 3,153,392. She might not have reached either of these results; but, before closing these articles, it will be proved that, in the absence of slavery, her population, in 1860, would have been at least 1,755,661, or the same per square mile as Massachusetts; and Baltimore, bearing the same ratio to this number as to Maryland's present population, would have contained in 1860, 542,000, instead of 212,000, her present number.
I take the areas from the able report (November 29, 1860) of the Hon. Joseph S. Wilson, then Commissioner of the General Land Office, where they are for the first time accurately given, 'excluding the water surface.' The population is taken from the census, the tables of 1850 and 1860 being compiled with great ability, by the present superintendent, the Hon. J. C. G. Kennedy. I compare first Massachusetts and Maryland, because they are maritime and old States, and both in 1790 had nearly the same population, but, as will be shown hereafter, with vastly superior natural advantages in favor of Maryland.
Area of Maryland, 11,124 square miles; shore line, by tables of United States Coast Survey, viz.: main shore, including bays, sounds, &c., 503 miles, islands 298, rivers to head of tide water 535; total, 1,336 miles.
Area of Massachusetts, 7,800 square miles; shore lines, by tables of United States Coast Survey, viz.: main shore, including bays, sounds, &c., 435 miles, islands 259, rivers to head of tide water 70; total, 764 miles. When we mark the Potomac and its tributaries, the lower Susquehanna, the deep and numerous streams of the Chesapeake, the commercial advantages of Maryland over Massachusetts are vast indeed. Looking at the ocean shore of Maryland, and also at the Chesapeake bay, the largest and finest estuary in the world, indented with numerous sounds and navigable inlets, three fourths of its length for both shores being within Maryland, and compare this deep and tranquil and protected basin, almost one continuous harbor, with the rock-bound coast of Massachusetts, lashed by the stormy Atlantic, the superiority of Maryland is striking.
Mortality in Maryland, by the late census, viz.: deaths from 1st June, 1859, to 31st May, 1860, 7,370 persons. Same time in Massachusetts, 21,303; making the ratio of deaths to the number living in Maryland, one to every 92, and in Massachusetts one to every 57; and the percentage of deaths in Maryland 1.09, and in Massachusetts 1.76. This rate of mortality for Massachusetts is confirmed by the late official report of their Secretary of State to the Legislature.
As to area, then, Maryland exceeds Massachusetts 43 per cent.; as to the shore line, that of Maryland is nearly double that of Massachusetts, having 68 miles more of main shore, bays, and sounds, 38 miles more for islands, and nearly eight times the number of miles for rivers to head of tide water. As to climate, that of Maryland, we have seen, is far the most salubrious. This is a vast advantage, not only in augmented wealth and numbers, from fewer deaths, but also as attracting capital and immigration. This milder and more salubrious climate gives to Maryland longer periods for sowing, working, and harvesting crops, a more genial sun, larger products, and better and longer crop seasons, great advantages for stock, especially in winter, decreased consumption of fuel, a greater period for the use of hydraulic power, and of canals and navigable streams. The area of Maryland fit for profitable culture is more than double that of Massachusetts, the soil much more fertile, its mines of coal and iron, with the fluxes all adjacent, rich and inexhaustible; whereas Massachusetts has no coal, and no valuable mines of iron or fluxes. When we reflect that coal and iron are the great elements of modern progress, and build up mighty empires, this advantage of Maryland over Massachusetts is almost incalculable. The hydraulic power of Maryland also greatly exceeds that of Massachusetts. Such are the vast natural advantages of Maryland over Massachusetts. Now let us observe the results. Population of Maryland in 1790, 319,728; in 1860, 687,034; increase 367,300. Population of Massachusetts in 1790, 378,717; in 1860, 1,231,065—increase 852,348; difference of increase in favor of Massachusetts, 485,048; excess of Massachusetts over Maryland in 1790, 58,989, and in 1860, 544,031. This result is amazing, when we regard the far greater area of Maryland and her other vast natural advantages. The population of Maryland in 1790 was 28 to the square mile (28.74), and in 1860, 61 to the square mile (61.76); whereas Massachusetts had 48 to the square mile in 1790 (48.55), and 157 to the square mile in 1860 (157.82). Thus Massachusetts had only 20 more to the square mile in 1790, and 96 more to the square mile in 1860. But if the areas of Maryland and Massachusetts had been reversed, Massachusetts, with the area of Maryland, and the population of Massachusetts of 1860 to the square mile, would have numbered then 1,755,661, and Maryland, with the area of Massachusetts and the population of Maryland of 1860 to the square mile, would have had then a population of only 481,728 upon that basis, leaving Massachusetts in 1860, 1,273,393 more people than Maryland. Thus is the assertion in a former part of this article now proved, 'that in the absence of slavery, the population of Maryland in 1860 would have then been at least 1,755,661, and Baltimore at least 542,000.' But, in view of the many other natural advantages of Maryland, as shown in this article, viz.: in climate and salubrity, in shore line and navigable rivers, in fertility of soil, and hydraulic power, in a more central location for trade with the whole Union, and especially with the West, and nearer supplies of cotton, and, above all, in coal and iron, it is clear, in the absence of slavery, Maryland must have contained in 1860 a population of at least two millions. By the census of 1790, Massachusetts was the fourth in population of all the States, and Maryland the sixth; but in 1860, Massachusetts was the seventh, and Maryland the nineteenth; and if each of the thirty-four States increases in the same ratio from 1860 to 1870, as from 1850 to 1860, Maryland will be only the twenty-fifth State.
These facts all conclusively attest the terrible effects of slavery on Maryland, and this is only one of the dreadful sacrifices she has made in retaining the institution. As to wealth, power, and intellectual development, the loss cannot be overstated.
Nor can manufactures account for the difference, as shown by the still greater increase of the agricultural North-West. Besides, Maryland (omitting slavery) had far greater natural advantages for manufactures than Massachusetts. She had a more fertile soil, thus furnishing cheaper food to the working classes, a larger and more accessible coast, and nearly eight times the length of navigable rivers, greater hydraulic power, vast superiority in mines of coal and iron, a far more salubrious climate, cotton, the great staple of modern industry, much nearer to Maryland, her location far more central for trade with the whole Union, and Baltimore, her chief city, nearer than Boston to the great West, viz,: to the Ohio at Pittsburg and Cincinnati, the Mississippi at St. Louis, and the lakes at Cleveland, Toledo, and Chicago, by several hundred miles. Indeed, but for slavery, Maryland must have been a far greater manufacturing as well as commercial State than Massachusetts—and as to agriculture, there could be no comparison.
But Massachusetts did not become a manufacturing State until after the tariff of 1824. That measure, as well as the whole protective policy, Massachusetts earnestly opposed in 1820 and 1824, and Daniel Webster, as her representative, denounced it as unconstitutional. From 1790 to 1820 Massachusetts was commercial, not manufacturing, and yet, from 1790 to 1820, Massachusetts increased in numbers 144,442, and Maryland in the same time only 87,622. Yet, from 1790 to 1820, Massachusetts, the most commercial State, was far more injured by the embargo and the late war with England than any other State.
It is clear, then, that the accusation of the secession leaders that the North was built up at the expense of the South, by the tariff, can have no application to the progress of Massachusetts and Maryland, because the advance of the former over the latter preceded by more than thirty years the adoption of the protective policy, and a comparison of the relative advance of the free and slave States, during the same period, exhibits the same results.
There is one invariable law, whether we compare all the slave States with all the free States, small States with small, large with large, old with old, new with new, retarding the progress of the slaveholding States, ever operating, and differing in degree only.
The area of the nine free States enumerated in 1790, is 169,668 square miles, and of the eight slaveholding States 300,580 square miles, while the population of the former in 1790 was 1,968,455, and of the latter, 1,961,372; but, in 1860, these nine free States had a population of 10,594,168, and those eight slave States only 7,414,684, making the difference in favor of these free States in 1860 over those slave States, 3,179,844, instead of 7,083 in 1790, or a positive gain to those free States over those slave States of 3,172,761. These free States, enumerated in 1790 and 1860, were the six New England States—New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania; and the slave States were, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Kentucky—yet we have seen that the area of those slave States was nearly double that of those free States, the soil much more fertile, the climate more salubrious, as shown by the census, and the shore line, including main shore, bays, and sounds, islands and rivers, to head of tide water, was, for those free States, 4,480 miles, and for those slave States, 6,560 miles. Thus, it is clear, that the increase of population of these slave States should have far exceeded that of those free States. The population of these slave States per square mile in 1790 was six (6.52), and in 1860, 24 (24.66), and of those free States in 1790, was 11 per square mile (11.60), and in 1860, 62 per square mile (62.44). Thus, while the increase of those slave States from 1790 to 1860 was only 18 per square mile, that of those free States was nearly 51 per square mile (50.84), or in very nearly a triple ratio, while in wealth and education the proportionate progress was much greater.
No cause except slavery can he assigned for this wonderful difference, for the colonists of Maryland were distinguished for education, intelligence, and gentle culture. Lord Baltimore was a statesman and philanthropist, and his colony was a free representative government, which was the first to repudiate the doctrine of taxation without representation, and the first to introduce religious toleration. While Maryland has produced many of the most eminent soldiers, statesmen, and jurists, her relative decline in power, wealth, and population, has been deplorable, and is attributable exclusively to the paralyzing effect of slavery.
While the advance of Massachusetts, with her limited area and sterile soil, especially in view of the thousands of her native sons who have emigrated to other States, is one of the wonders of the world, yet, the relative increase of the population of New Jersey, from 1790 to 1860, compared with that of Maryland, is still greater than that of Massachusetts. The law is inflexible wherever slavery disappears. Population of New Jersey in 1790, 184,139, in 1860, 672,035, being an increase of 264 per cent. (264.96) for New Jersey, of 225 per cent. (225.06) for Massachusetts, and for Maryland 114 per cent. (114.88). The ratio of increase per square mile from 1790 to 1860 was: Massachusetts, 48.55 in 1790, and 157.82 in 1860; Maryland, 28.74 in 1790, and 61.76 in 1860; and New Jersey, 22.01 in 1790, and 80.70 in 1860. Thus, while Maryland from 1790 to 1860, little more than doubled her ratio of increase per square mile (28.74 to 61.76), and Massachusetts a little more than tripled her ratio (48.55 to 157.82), New Jersey very nearly quadrupled hers (22.01 to 80.70). It must be conceded, however, that the natural advantages of New Jersey are far greater than those of Massachusetts, whose material and intellectual progress, in defiance of such serious obstacles, now is, and, most probably forever will be, without a parallel. Now the area of New Jersey is but 8,320 square miles; the soil of Maryland is far more fertile, the hydraulic power much greater, the shore line much more than double, viz.: 531 for New Jersey, to 1,336 for Maryland; while New Jersey, with rich iron mines, has no coal, and one third of her area is south of the celebrated Mason and Dixon's line, the northern boundary of Maryland. The comparison, however, which I shall present hereafter, of New York and Virginia, will be the most astounding, while little less remarkable will be found that of North Carolina with Pennsylvania, Kentucky with Ohio, Tennessee with Indiana, Georgia and Missouri with Illinois, Arkansas with Michigan, Alabama and Texas with Iowa or Minnesota, Mississippi and Louisiana with Wisconsin, Delaware with Rhode Island, South Carolina with Maine or Vermont. All, however, prove the same law, and exhibit the same paralyzing effect of slavery. While the free States have accomplished these miracles of progress, they have peopled seven vast Territories (soon by subdivision to become many more States), immigration to which has been almost exclusively from the North, as compared with the South. It is clear, that if the South retains the institution, it will, before the close of this century, sink into comparative insignificance, and contain less than a sixth in population of the Union. After the calamities which slavery has brought upon the South, the ruin and desolation the rebellion has already accomplished there, who from the North or from Europe would hereafter immigrate to any State retaining the system?—while thousands of the native sons of the South have already fled North or to Europe, and hundreds of thousands will follow.
The slave State which has increased most rapidly to the square mile of all of them from 1790 to 1860, has had a smaller augmentation per square mile than that free State which has increased most slowly per square mile during the same time of all the free States, and the result is the same as to wealth and education also. Under the best circumstances for the slave States, and the worst for the free States, this result proves the uniformity of the rule (like the great law of gravitation), knowing no exception to the effect of slavery, in depressing the progress of States in population, wealth, and education. Would we then in all these advance more rapidly, we must remove slavery and negroism, the retarding cause. I know it is asked, how shall we then cultivate the cotton lands of the South without slaves? This does not apply to the border States; but before closing these letters, I will prove conclusively, by the census and other statistics, what, from long residence in the South, and from having traversed every Southern State, I know to be true, that cotton is now raised there most extensively and profitably by non-slaveholders, and upon farms using exclusively white labor. Indeed the cotton raised on small farms in the South where there are no slaves and exclusively by free white labor, commands a price from five to ten per cent. greater than the slave grown cotton. In Texas, especially, it is a great truth, that skilled, educated, persevering, and energetic free labor, engaged voluntarily for wages or its own use, would, in time, when aided by improved culture and machinery, produce much larger crops and better cotton than now raised by the forced and ignorant labor of slaves, and at a much cheaper rate, at a far greater profit, than any crop now produced in the North, and in a more salubrious climate. In western Texas, counties on the same parallel with New Orleans, and a little north and south, cultivated mainly by Germans without slaves, produced large quantities of the best cotton, and the supply with augmented labor might be increased almost indefinitely. Having thrice visited Texas, and traversed nearly the whole State, north, south, east, and west, I speak from personal knowledge. In one county, I observed first rate wheat, cotton, and sugar cane growing in adjacent fields, and the soil and climate well adapted for all three crops. In Texas, the product of wheat has increased from 41.79 bushels in 1850, to 1,464,273 bushels in 1860, and the number of bales of cotton from 58,072 in 1850, to 405,100 bales in 1860, far exceeding the rate of increase in any other State. (See table of Census, No. 36, pp. 200, 210.) Having very nearly six times the area of New York, Texas, when cultivated by free labor, can produce cotton enough to clothe the people of the world, and supply all Europe with wheat also. The rapid colonization of Texas by freemen ought to add to our wealth, in this decade, a sum equal to the present debt of the United States, and terminate in our favor the effort to supplant us in the supply of cotton for the world.
The isothermals of the great Humboldt (differing so widely from parallels), which trace the lines of temperature on the earth's surface, prove, as to heat, the climate of the South (running a line from Charleston to Vicksburg) to be substantially the same as that of Greece and Italy—each, in its turn, the mistress of the world. I know, when, the term isothermal was used in my inaugural as Governor of Kansas, it was represented by some of our present rebel leaders, to the masses of the South, as some terrible monster, perhaps the Yankee sea serpent; but I now use the term again in no offence, from its important application to the present case, and knowing that what I now advise would produce incalculable benefits to the whole country, but especially to the South. Indeed, if Texas, with her 274,356 square miles of area, with her salubrious climate, and fertile soil, already worked to a great extent by free labor, were a free State, she would, in time, contain a larger population than any State of the Union. Texas has much more than five times the area of England proper, and, with the same population to the square mile, would contain more than one hundred millions of people. Having, in 1837, offered in the Senate of the United States, and carried, the resolution, recognizing the independence of Texas, first proposing in my letter of the 8th January, 1844, the mode, by compact (alone practicable), by which, on my motion, Texas was admitted into the Union, distinctly advocating, in this letter, the reannexation of Texas, with, a view to secure the ultimate disappearance of slavery and negroism from the whole country, in opposition to the object officially avowed by Mr. Calhoun, to annex Texas for the purpose of perpetuating slavery, I shall, in a future letter, discuss this subject, involving not only our furnishing a certain abundant supply of cheap cotton, but securing the real monopoly of this great product, due to our peculiar soil and climate, and thus ultimately increasing our products and manufactures thousands of millions of dollars, and giving us the control of the commerce of the world.
If Maryland would only initiate this policy, and come now to the rescue of the Union from rebellion and foreign intervention, she would inscribe her name first of all the States on the page of history and in the gratitude of our country and mankind. The position of Maryland upon the Chesapeake, the Potomac, the Susquehanna, and Atlantic, is most commanding. She surrounds the Capitol. It was her own noble donation, and she is its natural guardian and sentinel. Her waters, cutting the Blue mountains and the Alleghany, flow into the Atlantic and Mississippi, thus making her an eastern and a western State. Throughout all her borders, not a citizen would lose anything by the change proposed, but all would be enriched. Take down the barriers of slavery, and a new and unprecedented current of population and capital would flow into the State. Property would rise immensely in value, the price of her lands would soon reach those of Pennsylvania, new towns and cities would spring into life, Cumberland would soon equal the great manufacturing sites of the North, and the railroad to Pittsburg would soon be completed. Baltimore would fulfil her mighty destiny, and the present canal up the Susquehanna, easily enlarged, so as to equal the grand work of New York, would connect her with Lakes Erie and Ontario. That canal already unites the Susquehanna from the Chesapeake with the lakes by the Seneca route (as it should by the Chenango also), and only requires to be enlarged to the extent of the Erie Canal, and the locks also, as wisely proposed in regard to that great work. This would at once develop the great iron and coal mines of the Susquehanna (anthracite and bituminous), supply western and central New York, and the great region of the lakes, and the Chesapeake with these articles, so essential in war and peace. Let the locks of the Erie Canal be enlarged as proposed, and the ship canal from the Illinois river to Chicago constructed; but in justice to Pennsylvania and Maryland, as vastly important for commerce and revenue, and as a war measure for the cheap construction of iron-clad gunboats in the great coal and iron region, and the defence of the lakes, the Chesapeake, the Delaware, the Albemarle, and of the capital of the Union, let this canal be enlarged also.
While this system of gradual emancipation would greatly promote the material interests of Maryland, and of all the border States, the President does not overstate its influence in crushing the rebellion and restoring peace.
Maryland, the border States, and the South would then indeed commence a new career of progress, by removing slavery and negroism; and their augmented wealth, and that of the whole country, would soon return to the Government, in increased revenue, a sum far exceeding the cost of gradual emancipation and colonization. Indeed, if, as a mere financial question, I was devising the most effective plan for liquidating the national debt and reducing our taxes, it would be thus vastly to augment our wealth and population by adopting this system.
The census of 1860 exhibits our increase of population from 1790 to 1860 at 35.59 per cent., and of our wealth 126.45. Now, if we would increase the wealth of the country only one tenth in the next ten years, by the gradual disappearance of slavery and negroism (far below the results of the census), then, our wealth being now $16,159,616,068, the effect of such increase would be to make our wealth in 1870, instead of $36,593,450,585, more than sixteen hundred millions greater, being more than three times our present debt, and in 1880, instead of $82,865,868,849, over three billions six hundred millions more, or more than seven times our present debt.
Before the close of this letter, it will be shown that the difference, per capita, of the annual products of Massachusetts and Maryland exceeds $120. As to the other Southern States, the excess is much greater. Now, if the annual products of the South were increased $120 each per capita (still far below Massachusetts) by the exclusion of slavery, then multiplying the total population of the South, 12,229,727, by 120, the result would be an addition to the annual value of the products of the South of $1,467,567,240, and in the decade, $14,675,672,400; the first amount being three times our debt on the 1st July, 1862, and the last sum thirty times our debt on that day. This change would not be immediate, but there can be no doubt that, with the vastly greater natural advantages of the South, the superiority of free to slave labor, the immense immigration, especially from Europe to the South, aided by the Homestead bill, and the conversion of large plantations into small farms, an addition of at least one billion of dollars would be made, by the exclusion of slavery, to the value of the products of the South, in the ten years from 1870 to 1880, which sum is more than double our public debt on the 1st July last.
Having considered the relative progress in population of Massachusetts and Maryland, I will now examine their advance in wealth.
By tables 33 and 36, census of 1860, the value of the products of Massachusetts that year was $283,000,000; and of Maryland, $65,583,000. Table 33 included domestic manufactures, mines, and fisheries (p. 59); and table 36, agricultural products. Dividing these several aggregates by the total population of each State, the value of that year's product of Massachusetts was $229.88 per capita, and of Maryland, $95.45, making the average annual value of the labor of each person in the former greatly more than double that of the latter, and the gross product more than quadruple. This is an amazing result, but it is far below the reality. The earnings of commerce and navigation are omitted in the census, which includes only the products of agriculture, manufactures, the mines, and fisheries. This was a most unfortunate omission, attributable to the secession leaders, who wished to confine the census to a mere enumeration of population, and thus obliterate all the other great decennial monuments which mark the nation's progress in the pathway of empire.
Some of these tables are given as follows:
First, as to Railroads.—The number of miles in Massachusetts in 1860 (including city roads) was 1,340, and the cost of construction $61,857,203 (table 38, pp. 230, 231). The value of the freight of these roads in 1860 was $500,524,201 (p. 105). The number of miles of railroad in Maryland at the same time was 380, the cost of construction $21,387,157, and the value of the freight (at the same average rate) $141,111,348, and the difference in favor of Massachusetts $359,412,883. The difference must have been much greater, because a much larger portion of the freight in Massachusetts consisted of domestic manufactures, worth $250 per ton, which is $100 a ton above the average value.
The passengers' account, not given, would vastly swell the difference in favor of Massachusetts.
The tonnage of vessels built in Massachusetts in 1860 was 34,460 tons, and in Maryland, 7,798 tons (p. 107).
The number of banks in Massachusetts in 1860 was 174; capital, $64,519,200; loans, $107,417,323. In Maryland, the number was 31; capital, $12,568,962; loans, $20,898,762 (table 34, p. 193).
The number of insurance companies in Massachusetts 117; risks, $450,896,263. No statement given for Maryland, but comparatively very small, as the risks in Massachusetts were nearly one sixth of all in the Union.
Our exports abroad, from Massachusetts, for the fiscal year ending 30th June, 1860, were of the value of $17,003,277, and the foreign imports $41,187,539; total of imports and exports, $58,190,816; the clearances 746,909 tons, the entries 849,449; total entered and cleared, 1,596,458 tons. In Maryland, exports $9,001,600, foreign imports $9,784,773; total imports and exports, $18,786,323; clearances, 174,000 tons; entries, 186,417; total of entries and clearances, 360,417 (table 14, Register of Treasury). Thus, the foreign imports and exports abroad, of Massachusetts, were much more than triple those of Maryland, and the entries and clearances very largely more than quadruple. The coastwise and internal trade are not given, as recommended by me when Secretary of the Treasury, but the tables of the railroad traffic indicate in part the immense superiority of Massachusetts.
These statistics, however, prove that, if the earnings of commerce and navigation were added, the annual value of the products of Massachusetts per capita would be at least $300, and three times that of Maryland. In estimating values per capita, we must find the earnings of commerce very large, as a single merchant, in his counting house, engaged in an immense trade, and employing only a few clerks, may earn as much as a great manufacturing corporation, employing hundreds of hands. Including commerce, the value per capita of the products and earnings of Massachusetts exceeds not only those of any State in our Union, BUT OF THE WORLD; and would, at the same rate, make the value of its annual products three hundred millions of dollars; and of our own country, upward of nine billions of dollars per annum. Such, under great natural disadvantages, is the grand result achieved in Massachusetts, by education, science, industry, free schools, free soil, free speech, free labor, free press, and free government. The facts prove that freedom is progress, that 'knowledge is power,' and that the best way to appreciate the value of property and augment wealth most rapidly, is to invest a large portion of it in schools, high schools, academies, colleges, universities, books, libraries, and the press, so as to make labor more productive, because more skilled, educated, and better directed. Massachusetts has achieved much in this respect; but when she shall have made high schools as free and universal as common schools, and the attendance on both compulsory, so as to qualify every voter for governing a State or nation, she will have made a still grander step in material and intellectual progress, and the results would be still more astounding. She can thus still more clearly prove the fact, establish the law, and give us the formula demonstrating that taxes for the increase and diffusion of knowledge are the best investment for the increase of national, state, and individual wealth. Then all would acknowledge the harmony of labor and capital, their ultimate association in profits for mutual benefit. This social as well as political union, together with the specializing and differentiation of pursuits, and observing duties as rights, would falsify the gloomy dogma of Malthus, founded on the doctrine of the eternal and ever-augmenting antagonism of wages and money, and solve, in favor of humanity, the great problem of the grand and glorious destiny of the masses of mankind. The law of humanity is progress, onward and upward, and will, in time, crush all opposing obstacles. If all—all were fully educated, what miracles would be accomplished, how great the increase of important inventions and discoveries, and how many new and sublime truths in science, sociology, and government would be developed! Would not the progress of the State or nation approximate, then, a ratio depending on its numbers? If all the States had contributed as much as Massachusetts to the treasury and diffusion of knowledge, our whole country, North and South, would have been advanced a century, and this rebellion, based upon the ignorance, imperfect civilization, and semibarbarism produced by slavery, could never have occurred.
By table 35 of the census, p. 195, the whole value of all the property, real and personal, of Massachusetts, in 1860, was $815,237,433, and of Maryland, $376,919,944. We have seen that the value of the products that year in Massachusetts was $283,000,000 (exclusive of commerce), and of Maryland, $65,583,000. As a question, then, of profit on capital, that of Massachusetts was 34 per cent., and of Maryland 17 per cent. Such is the progressive advance (two to one) of free as compared with slave labor. The same law obtains in comparing all the free with all the slave States. But the proof is still more complete. Thus, Delaware and Missouri (alone of all the slave States) were ahead of Maryland in this rate of profit, because both had comparatively fewer slaves; and all the other slave States, whose servile population was relatively larger than that of Maryland, were below her in the rate of profit. The law extends to counties, those having comparatively fewest slaves increasing far more rapidly in wealth and population. This, then, is the formula as to the rate of profit on capital. First, the free States; next the States and counties of the same State having the fewest relative number of slaves. The census, then, is an evangel against slavery, and its tables are revelations proclaiming laws as divine as those written by the finger of God at Mount Sinai on the tables of stone.
For seventy years we have had these census tables, announcing these great truths more and more clearly at each decade. They are the records of the nation's movement and condition, the decennial monuments marking her steps in the path of empire, the oracles of her destiny. They are prophecies, for each decade fulfils the predictions of its predecessor. They announce laws, not made by man, but the irrevocable ordinances of the Almighty. We cannot, with impunity, refuse to obey these laws. For every violation, they enforce their own penalties. From these there is no escape in the present or the past, nor for the future, except in conformity to their demands. These laws condemn slavery; and the punishment for disobedience is recorded in the result of every census, and finally culminated in the rebellion. Slavery and freedom are antagonistic and discordant elements: the conflict between them is upon us; it admits of no neutrality or compromise, and one or the other system must perish.
We have seen that slavery is hostile to the progress of wealth and population: let us now ascertain its influence on moral and intellectual development.
By table 15 of the census of 1860, the result for that year was as follows: In Massachusetts, value of books printed, $397,500; jobs, 529,347; newspapers, $1,979,069; total, $2,905,916. Same year in Maryland, books printed, $58,000; jobs, $122,000; newspapers, $169,000; total, $350,155. By table 37, census of 1860, Massachusetts had 222 newspapers and periodicals, of which 112 were political, 31 religious, 51 literary, miscellaneous, 28. Maryland had only 57, all political. The whole number of copies issued in Massachusetts in 1860 was 102,000,760, and in Maryland, 20,721,472. Of periodicals, Massachusetts has monthly, 1 political, 10 religious, 18 literary, 7 miscellaneous; quarterly, religious 3, literary 2, miscellaneous 1, and 1 annual. Maryland had none. Not a religious, literary, scientific, or miscellaneous periodical or journal in the State! What terrible truths are unfolded in these statistics! None but a political party press in Maryland, all devoted, in 1860, to the maintenance, extension, and perpetuity of slavery, which had 57 advocates, and not one for science, religion, or literature.
We have seen that the circulation in 1860 of the press in Massachusetts exceeded that of Maryland by more than eighty-one millions of copies. These facts all prove that slavery is hostile to knowledge and its diffusion, to science, literature, and religion, to the press, and to free government.
For schools, colleges, libraries, and churches, I must take the tables of the census of 1850, those of 1860 not being yet published. There were in 1850, in Massachusetts, 3,679 public schools, 4,443 teachers, 176,475 pupils; native adults who cannot read or write, 1,861. In Maryland, 907 public schools, 1,005 teachers, 33,254 pupils; native adults who cannot read or write, 38,426, excluding slaves, to teach whom is criminal.
Thus, then, slavery is hostile to schools, withholding instruction from the children of the poor.
The number of public libraries in Massachusetts was 1,462, volumes 684,015. In Maryland, 124, and 125,042 volumes. Value of churches in Massachusetts, $10,206,000. In Maryland, $3,947,884, of which $2,541,240 is in Baltimore (which has very few slaves), and the remainder is mainly in the seven counties (from which slavery has nearly disappeared) adjoining Pennsylvania.
As to schools, colleges, books, libraries, churches, newspapers, and periodicals, it thus appears that Massachusetts is greatly in advance of Maryland.
Now then, let us contrast loyal Maryland with rebel South Carolina, the author of secession, and assuming for many years to instruct the nation. By the census of 1860, she had a population of 703,708, of whom 402,406 were slaves; and Maryland, numbering 687,049, had 87,189 slaves. Now, by the census of 1860, South Carolina had 45 journals and periodicals, and her annual circulation was 3,654,840 copies. The circulation therefore of Massachusetts exceeded that of South Carolina more than ninety-eight millions of copies, while Maryland exceeded South Carolina more than seventeen millions of copies. So much for South Carolina as a great political teacher. As to schools in 1850: South Carolina had 724 public schools, 739 teachers, 17,838 pupils. Massachusetts, then, had 158,637 more pupils at public schools than South Carolina, and Maryland 15,416 more pupils at public schools than South Carolina.
The press of Massachusetts, we have seen, circulated in 1860 upward of one hundred and two millions of copies, equal to 279,454 per day, including journals and periodicals, each read, on an average, by at least two persons. This is independent of books and pamphlets, and of the very large circulation of papers from other States and from Europe. What a flood of light is thus shed daily and hourly upon the people of Massachusetts! This intellectual effulgence radiates by day and night. It is the sun in its meridian splendor, and the stars in an ever unclouded firmament. It has a centre and a circumference, but knows no darkness. Ignorance vanishes before it; wealth follows in its train; labor rejoices in its association, and finds its products more than doubled; freedom hails its presence, and religion gives it a cordial welcome; churches, schools, academies, colleges, and universities acknowledge its mighty influence. Science penetrates the secrets of nature, and unfolds each new discovery for the benefit of man. Coal, the offspring of the sun, develops its latent energy, and water contributes its untiring hydraulic power. Machinery takes more and more the place of nerves and muscles, cheapens clothing and subsistence and all the necessaries of life, and opens new fields of industry, and more profitable employment for labor. Steam and lightning become the slave of man. He performs the journey of a day in an hour, and converses in minutes around the globe. The strength of man may not have been much increased, but his power is augmented a thousand-fold. His life may not have been materially lengthened, but, in the march of knowledge, a year now is as a century, compared with man's progress in the darkness of the middle ages. The eternal advance toward omniscience goes on, but is like that of the infinite approach of the asymptote, which never reaches the hyperbolic curve. The onward march of science is in a geometrical ratio, so that in time, the intellectual progress of a day in the future, must exceed that of a century in the past. Knowledge is enthroned as a king, and grand truths and new ideas are his ministers. Science takes the diameter of the earth's orbit as a base line and unit of measurement, and with it spans infinity, and triangulates the nebulous systems amid the shadowy verges of receding space. Its researches are cosmical upon the earth and the heavens, and all the elements minister to its progress. Sink to the lowest mine, or fathom the ocean's depth, or climb the loftiest mountains, or career through the heavens on silken wings, and it is there also. On—on—on; nearer—nearer—still nearer it moves forever and forever, with accelerated speed, toward the infinite eternal. Such are the triumphs of knowledge; and he who diffuses it among our race, or discovers and disseminates new truths, advances man nearer to his Creator. He exalts the whole race; he elevates it in the scale of being, and raises it into higher and still higher spheres.
It is science that marks the speed of sound and light and lightning, calculates the eclipses, catalogues the stars, maps the heavens, and follows, for centuries of the past and the future, the comet's course. It explores the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms. With geology, it notes the earthquake, upheaval of mountains, and, with mineralogy, the laws of crystallization. With chemistry, it analyzes, decomposes, and compounds the elements. If, like Canute, it cannot arrest the tidal wave, it is subjecting it to laws and formulas. Taking the sunbeam for its pencil, it pictures man's own image, and the scenery of the earth and the heavens. Has science any limits or horizon? Can it ever penetrate the soul of man, and reveal the mystery of his existence and destiny? It is certainly exploring the facts of sociology, arranging and generalizing them, and deducing laws. It regards man in his social relations, in families, tribes, and governments, savage, semi-barbarous, and civilized; beginning with the most simple, advancing to the chief, the patriarch, the king, the feudal military, the regal aristocratic, the pure democracy by popular assemblages, as in Athens and the school towns of Massachusetts, rising higher to the central representative, and to the highest, although necessarily more complex, the federal constitutional representative, carrying out the organic division, and the subdivision of legislative and administrative action—regarding the state, the national, and international policy, and, in the lapse of centuries, the confederacy, fusion, and unification of nations. The constitution of empires, with the legislative, judicial, and executive functions, furnish some of the elements of sociology. But we must take the history of man, past, present, and future, note and arrange and generalize the facts, and thence deduce laws and formulas. Sociology is not a mere accidental and disconnected series of facts, but it has laws, although far less known than those appertaining to the physical sciences. The work is commenced, and progresses here and in Europe. But, at this moment, at least in administrative action, Massachusetts is ahead of all the world in the science of sociology.
Man, elevated by knowledge in the scale of being, controls the forces of nature with greater power and grander results, and accumulates wealth more rapidly. The educated free labor of Massachusetts, we have seen, triples the products of toil, per capita, as compared with Maryland, and quintuples them (as the census shows) compared with South Carolina. One day's labor of a man in Massachusetts is equal to three in Maryland, and five in South Carolina. So, if we take our savage tribes, with their huts and tents, their rude agriculture, their furs, their few and simple household manufactures, their hunting and fishing, the average product of their annual labor, at four cents a day each, would be $14.60 a year, or more than a fourth of that of South Carolina (56.91). So that Massachusetts, in material progress, is farther in advance of South Carolina than that State is of the savage Indians. Thus, we have the successive steps and gradations of man: Massachusetts, with free labor and free schools, having reached the highest point of civilization; South Carolina, with slavery and ignorance (except the few), in a semi-barbarous stage; and the lowest savage condition, called barbarous, but nearer to South Carolina than that State to Massachusetts.
Slavery, then, the census proves, is hostile to the progress of wealth and population, to science, literature, and education, to schools, colleges, and universities, to books and libraries, to churches and religion, to the press, and therefore to free government; hostile to the poor, keeping them in want and ignorance; hostile to labor, reducing it to servitude, and decreasing two thirds the value of its products; hostile to morals, repudiating among slaves the marital and parental condition, classifying them by law as chattels, darkening the immortal soul, and making it a crime to teach millions of human beings to read or write. And shall labor and education, literature and science, religion and the press, sustain an institution which is their deadly foe?
But slavery is the enemy of free government. It has commenced and now wages an unholy war against this Union, and thus assails the liberty of our country and of mankind. It has framed a government based on the eternity of chattel slavery, and demands in its name to rule the larger portion of the Union. It seeks to sever the lakes from the gulf, and the mighty Mississippi and its vast arterial tributary system. It asks to be let alone in the commission of all these heaven-daring crimes. In the name of my bleeding country, of the millions whom it has doomed to death, or wounds, or chains, or misery; in the name of the widows and orphans it has made, whose bitter tears and agonizing sighs now fill our land with sorrow; in the name of the free and blessed government it seeks to overthrow, and the glorious Union it strives to dissolve; in the name of God and man, of religion and liberty, the world arraigns the criminal at the bar of justice. Now is the day of trial: humanity hopes and fears, mankind await the verdict. It is rendered: Guilty upon every charge of the indictment; and heaven records the righteous sentence—Slavery must die, that the Union and liberty may live forever!
SOMETHING WE HAVE TO THINK OF, AND TO DO.
The President's order for a draft—aside from its immediate purpose—has an important bearing in a more general view on the education of the public mind. It is an impressive enforcement of the great principle that every able-bodied man in the nation owes military service to his country as sacredly as he owes obedience to his God. This is a principle which probably few persons will hesitate to admit when plainly confronted with it. But the conviction of it has slumbered in the mind of the people during the long years of peace we have enjoyed. There has been almost nothing to remind us of it for fifty years past. The draft is an emphatic proclamation of it. It brings it home to the conscience of the nation; and thousands, who might otherwise have scarcely thought of it, will be led to recognize and to feel it.
It is to be hoped that we shall go further—that the quickened sense of obligation will make us consider what we must do to make the discharge of it of the greatest service to the nation; that we shall learn the lessons of wisdom which the present struggle enforces on us, and see to it, that in the future, by better military organization and instruction, the able-bodied men of the country are rendered more capable of effective military service at a moment's call.
Oar military system, and the enrolment of the people under it, goes indeed upon this principle of the obligation of military service by every able-bodied citizen—and so is a constant testimony to it; but in point of fact it has done comparatively little toward cherishing the military spirit, cultivating the military virtues, and securing an effective military force, ready at any moment for active service in the field. Dreading nothing from foreign nations on this side of the ocean, counting on the obvious policy of the nations of the old world to keep the peace with us, and never dreaming of such a rebellion as has broken out in our midst—we have not only neglected but discountenanced the cultivation of the military spirit. Our men of education and high social position, instead of contributing to make the militia system respectable by the personal performance of military duty, and by using all their influence to give a high tone to the service, have evaded its requirements on themselves, and done all they could to sink it into disregard and contempt: a dereliction of duty as unwise as wrong.
It is a miserable thing for a country to have to get ready for war when war is forced upon it. This was the case when the rebellion broke out. We were not ready for it. There was indeed no lack of men. Hundreds of thousands responded to their country's call; and the great body of the people were carried away with the delusion that men with arms in their hands are soldiers, and that massing them in great numbers makes them a great army. Wise men—men of military judgment and experience—knew better. But the popular clamor for onward offensive operations prevailed; with disastrous result in the first instance. Not on the whole perhaps to be regretted. It did what nothing else could have done—it dispelled the popular delusion. It did something toward teaching the nation a lesson indispensably necessary to be learned—that a million men with arms in their hands without discipline, are nothing but an armed mob, and that the discipline which alone makes an effective army, implies a great deal more than is gotten in company trainings and regimental parades under our old militia system.
Discipline—discipline—discipline; these are the first, second, and third requisites to make men into soldiers. With it the poorest materials can be made effective. Napoleon made good soldiers of the Italian lazaroni—and a poorer material can scarcely well be conceived. It is Napoleon that said: 'discipline is the first requisite for a soldier—bravery is only secondary.' Indeed the more there is of bravery in an army composed of such men as the New England States and the rural districts of New York send to the war—'reasoning bayonets,' as Napoleon called them, bayonets in the hands of men with heads on their shoulders, and heads that have the habit of doing their own thinking—the more there is of bravery in such a soldiery, the greater the need of discipline. Not only thorough training in the use of arms, but a habit of implicit obedience is indispensable to make good soldiers.
There can be no doubt this war is destined to make us a more military people than we have been before. And good reason we should be. In the first place, because the prevalence of a higher military tone and the maintenance of a more effective military force are indispensable for the national security and defence. Until the millennium comes we shall always be liable to foreign invasions or internal rebellion. In either case there is nothing before us but to fight, and nothing but successful fighting can save us. But how can we fight successfully if we have only raw recruits or an ill-trained militia, and officers better skilled to handle the yard stick than the sword, to marshal a column of figures than a body of men? In the nest place, because the military virtues—courage, fortitude, endurance, subordination, and obedience; the military habits—promptitude, vigilance, order, attention to details; and the physical developments—health, strength, and heightened muscular activity, which come from military discipline—all these are no less valuable as elements of the morale or general character of a nation than indispensable in a merely military view, to a nation's security and success in arms.
To form a disciplined army was the first thing we had to do when the rebellion broke out. It was a great pity, and a sad necessity to have to begin to do it then. We have paid dearly for our folly and neglect. If we had been as well prepared for war as the Swiss always are, it would have saved us millions of treasure, and many score thousands of lives. Let us at least now not fail to learn the lesson of wisdom for our future guidance which the past forces upon us. Let us look out for having a good military organization—a permanent system that shall give us hereafter not the show only but the reality of an effective force; not muster rolls of names of companies, regiments, brigades, but well-disciplined citizen soldiers, with good officers able to handle and lead them. This is something that can be done—something that ought to be done.
It is a matter for consideration what is the military system that will best keep us ready for war if war be forced upon us, and at the same time with the least detriment or danger to the people or the Government. Is it a large regular force, a standing army, adequate to the defence of the country always on foot and in the pay of the General Government? I think not. The number of regular troops in the service of the Union doubtless will and should be considerably increased. But to keep a large standing army, as many of the great powers of Europe do, is what I hope we shall never come to. I do not so much object to the great expense of it—for that is not worth consideration if it be the only or the best way to provide for the defence of the nation. But it is foreign to the genius and spirit of our institutions, and involves dangers to our liberties. Human nature is human nature—and is pretty likely to continue to be. What history has recorded more than once, it may have to record again.
Shall we then adhere to our present militia system? Not, it is to be hoped, without very great modifications, additions, and improvements. If we do, we shall show ourselves as incapable of learning by our own experience as by the wisdom of history. At the same time, our militia organization furnishes the basis of a military system adapted to the genius of our institutions, fully adequate to our national defence, and one that will save us from the expense and dangers of a standing army large enough for the need of the country in a time of war.
In reorganizing our military system on this basis, I would go to Switzerland for suggestions and guidance. The Swiss system, with certain changes and with some features adopted from the English, is the one most fitted for our country. In Switzerland the motto is: 'No regular army, but every citizen, a soldier.' This motto lies at the basis of their system. But then the system makes every citizen really a soldier. It is a system that has shown itself adequate and admirably adapted for the defence of the country against foreign foes and internal rebellion. Not their mountains merely, but their hearts and arms—and a knowledge on the part of their neighbors what those hearts and arms were capable of—have preserved their independence. And as to internal safety, let any one read the story of the rebellion of 1847, when under Jesuit influence seven of the Swiss cantons formed a secession league (Sonder-Bund), and rose in arms. Immediately an army of more than one hundred thousand men from the loyal cantons was in the field, summoned from their ordinary callings, and in seventeen days the whole struggle was over, despite the strong force and almost impregnable position of the rebels, and despite the menaces of Austria and her offers of help to the insurgents. In seventeen days their citadels were taken, the traitors' league broken, and the loyal army (all but nine thousand men left to see to the expulsion of the Jesuit conspirators and the restoration of order) disbanded to seek their homes and renew their ordinary occupations.
I shall not pretend to go into the details of such a system as we should adopt, but confine myself to such observations as every man of general intelligence, moderately acquainted with military history, is competent to appreciate.
In the first place, there can be no doubt of the importance of a good system for the enrolment of the rank and file, with effective provisions for a certain amount of instruction and drill every year.
The next thing, and which is of still greater importance, is the adoption of a system that shall secure the formation of proper officers. Dividing each State in the Union into a proper number of military districts, there should be in every district a perfect organization of officers, staff, brigade, regimental, and line—what the French call cadres, the nucleus or skeleton of brigades and regiments—with special provision for their thorough and effective instruction and discipline in all their respective duties. This was a great point in the policy of Napoleon. 'When a nation,' said he, 'possesses neither cadres nor the principles of military organization, it is extremely difficult to organize an army.' Attaching the rank and file to these cadres—whenever and as often as there is need—they can soon be made good soldiers, even if they have had but little training before; and there is no way in which discipline can be so speedily and effectively instilled. The cadre is not only the frame, joint, or articulation, but the system of veins and arteries and nerves of an army. All the military systems of Europe rest upon this principle. To prepare officers fit to be organized into these cadres, they have schools for special instruction—the school of the staff, and of every branch of service—including everything relating to the subsistence and movement of armies.
This brings us to the consideration of a point of fundamental importance. We have no such schools. We have nothing but West Point, and that is nothing to the needs of the country. In every State there ought to be schools to prepare officers for the cadres—special schools for every department of military science and art, either separately or united in one comprehensive institution. The rebels have been wiser than we of the North. For twenty years past, looking forward to this day, the conspirators and traitors now in arms for the overthrow of the Government, and the dismemberment of the nation, have been assiduously training officers. In nearly every Southern State they have had one, and in some States more than one special military school, founded and fostered by the State—beside introducing more or less of military drill into their other schools, and in every way cultivating a military spirit among the people. And they have reaped the advantage of having at the outset of the contest a better supply of competent officers and materials for officers than we had.
But not only should there be such special military schools—one in every State, but there should also be institutions where a sufficient number of young men can get the preliminary education necessary to fit them to enter the schools of officers—an education which, beside being as complete and thorough a literary one as officers ought to have, should also be such in point of military discipline and instruction as shall lay a good foundation for building themselves up and perfecting themselves as officers by subsequent instruction and experience. It is not absolutely necessary to establish institutions exclusively or specially for this purpose. The end might be attained, if sufficient amount of military instruction, drill, and discipline were added to the present course of education in the schools, academies, and colleges of the land. This perhaps would be the best way. It would accomplish the object of preparing a sufficient number of young men to enter the State schools of officers, and would beside tend to diffuse throughout the body of the educated class of the people something of military knowledge and of the spirit of the military virtues—to the great advantage of the nation in any times, but especially in critical emergencies demanding great and heroic sacrifices.
So horrible a thing is war, and so dreadful are its inevitable miseries, that there is at first thought something shocking to many persons, in the idea of making military instruction a part of the system of public education—in cultivating the military spirit, and training the children and youth of a nation to science and skill in the arts of carnage. The kind and gentle-hearted find little consolation in being reminded that war is one of God's agencies. They acknowledge that the earthquake, the pestilence, the tornado, are His agencies. They find no difficulty in saying, with WORDSWORTH, in regard to these:
'We bow our hearts before Thee, and we laud And magnify Thy Name, Almighty God!'
Yet when he adds:
'But Thy most dreaded instrument In working out a pure intent, Is man arrayed for mutual slaughter— Yea, Carnage is Thy daughter.'
they shrink from the thought and the image. It is too dreadful for ready acquiescence.
But there is another side to the subject, and a deeper view. See how the hero preacher, the saintly-hearted ROBERTSON—as pure and tender a spirit as ever breathed—puts the matter:
'Take away honor and imagination and poetry from war, and it becomes carnage. Doubtless. And take away public spirit and invisible principles from resistance to a tax, and Hampden becomes a noisy demagogue. * * * * Carnage is terrible. Death, and human features obliterated beneath the hoof of the war horse, and reeking hospitals, and ruined commerce, and violated homes, and broken hearts—they are all awful. But there is something worse than death. Cowardice is worse. And the decay of enthusiasm and manliness is worse. And it is worse than death—aye, worse than a hundred thousand deaths—when a people has gravitated down into the creed that the wealth of nations consists not in generous hearts, in national virtues, and primitive simplicity, and heroic endurance, and preference of duty to life—not in MEN, but in silk and cotton, and something they call 'capital.' Peace is blessed—peace arising out of charity. But peace springing out of the calculations of selfishness is not blessed. If the price to be paid for peace is this, that wealth accumulate and men decay, better far, that every street in every town of our country should run blood.'
Now it may be that it is God's purpose to save us by the war we are now engaged in from such a 'gravitation'—to save us by war from calamities far worse than any that war can bring upon us. But be this as it may, one thing we must all admit, that horrible as war is, and dreadful as are its miseries, no nation is fit to be a nation that will not defend itself by arms, if war is forced upon it. And no nation is safe, or worthy of a place among nations, if it is not prepared to maintain its existence against invasion from without or rebellion from within. Beside, to be prepared for war is one of the best securities against war.
But the best, the only sufficient foundation for this preparation, must be laid in the education of the young—an education not exclusively military for any, but while professionally military for a sufficient number, yet as to the rest, military in just and due proportion—an education which, as JOHN MILTON says, 'fits a man to perform justly, skilfully, and magnanimously, all the offices, both public and private, of peace and of war.' 'The nation,' says WORDSWORTH, in the preface to one of his grand odes, 'the nation would err grievously, if she suffered the abuse which other states have made of the military power, to prevent her from perceiving that no people ever was or can be independent, free, or secure, much less great in any sane application of the word, without martial propensities and an assiduous cultivation of the military virtues.'
THE NOBLE DEAD.
'Those great spirits, that went down like suns And left upon the mountain-tops of death A light that made them lovely.'
CAMBRIDGE AND ITS COLLEGES.
I love Cambridge, and must write very kindly about it. For in the first place, I met there with some of the best men I have ever known. And secondly, it has educated some very noted geniuses and fine poets. I do not envy the American who can linger in its cloisters, ramble in the college walks and survey the colleges themselves with an unmoved spirit. Out of its courts marched Bacon, Newton, Milton, and Jeremy Taylor; Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Byron issued from it but the other day, for what are a few years in the biography of genius? And was it not but yesterday that Tennyson wrote his prize poem there? It was hallowed ground to me, worthy of not unmixed reverence, but of much reverence was it worthy.
I went straightway to the residence of Dr. Whewell, master of Trinity College, and he received me very cordially. His works are well known in America, and I knew them, and directly made complimentary allusions to them, which, did not displease him. 'Sir, you are welcome,' he said, pressing my hand. 'You are very welcome, sir.' He proceeded to talk of America, and spoke of Edward Everett, and his visit to Cambridge in 1842, and of the speech he made. Everett made a decidedly favorable impression. 'We had a visit from another of your countrymen, last year,' said Dr. W. 'Parker of Boston—Theodore Parker. A man of genius, but I believe a rationalist in religion. He saw but few of our men, and, indeed, we were not disposed to receive him. It would have created a scandal. But he is a very clever man.' After tea, I repaired with the Doctor to his study, and had a pleasant chat with him about American literature. We discussed the merits of Longfellow, Bryant, Irving, Cooper, Channing, Bancroft and Emerson. Of the last-mentioned writer, he said, 'He is not like Carlyle, though the newspaper critics are constantly associating them together. I have no sympathy with his opinions, but I am refreshed by reading him. He is a strong man, sir, and your country will be proud of him. Amongst our young men here his opinions are making great strides. 'Tis the vice of the age. Germany has had the disease, and is near recovery. England and America have caught the epidemic. But pantheism, sir, will not live, though here and at Oxford the students are reading Hegel, Strauss, Bruno-Bauer, and Feuerbach. At Oxford,' he added, 'these pernicious doctrines are demoralizing the university. Blanco White and John Sterling were but the pioneers of a large party of university men, who are preparing to avow their disbelief in Christianity.' The Doctor was right. Francis Newman, brother of the Puseyite Newman, who seceded to the Romish Church, and belongs now to the Oratory of St. Philip Neri,—Froude, brother of the deceased Puseyite Froude,—Foxton, an ordained priest of the Church of England, and Travers, another priest and vicar, have quitted Oxford and the Church, and published heretical works, or are preaching heretical doctrines; while, according to the testimony of Archdeacon Wilberforce, and Dr. Vaughan of Harrow, the doctrines of the German theologists have been embraced by half the undergraduates there.
The town of Cambridge is uninteresting. The streets are narrow and dismal, nor have they any ancient buildings or architectural oddities, except the Round Church, to arrest the stranger's attention, as Shrewsbury and Chester have. The surrounding country is level as a prairie, broken only toward the southeast, by the ridiculous dustheaps called the Gog-Magog Hills. These hills belong to the curiosities of Cambridge, and are as famous in university annals as the colleges themselves. Robert Hale scarcely joked when he said to a friend who visited him during his residence at Cambridge, and who asked him for these hills, 'When that man yonder moves out of the way, you will see them.' They are four miles from the town, and on the estate of the Godolphin family, of which the Rev. Sydney Godolphin Osborne, the S. G. O. of the London Times newspaper, is the present representative.
I was greatly disappointed with the Cam. It is a narrow, muddy stream, varying in depth from five to twenty feet. There is a deep pool near the village of Grantchester, two miles from the town, in which Byron used to bathe, and which bears his name. I would have the stranger that visits Cambridge go to see Grantchester churchyard. It is reached by a pleasant walk across fields, and is really a beautiful spot. Many students who have died at college are buried here. Another walk of three miles along the old coach road, leading to Oxford, will bring him to the Madingley, with its park and mansion, the seat of the Cotton family. Before he leaves this part of the country he should also visit Ely, distant twelve miles, and see the venerable cathedral.