Saturday, July 30, 2016

John M. Forbes to Joshua Bates, of Baring Bros. & Co., London., November 11, 1862

Boston, November 11, 1862.

My Dear Mr. Bates, — Nothing from you lately; and I suppose even your steady nerves and heart are shaken by our long supineness. We have awaked at last, and if we had only a William Pitt to put over our cabinet, we should be all right.

Mr. Chase, I hear, shows some signs of returning sanity by inquiring (outside of the clique who had his ear) as to his future course. Our friend Hooper has a good deal to answer for in leading him into the legal tender labyrinth; it will take wiser heads to guide him out. We are not quite lost yet, and if the report due next month shows that he has sounded the depths of the currency issue as a resource, and is coming back to sound principles of finance, we may, with large revenues from our tax bill (reported to be very large), and with some military vigor, still save ourselves from utter ruin, — financially, I mean.

Somehow or other, in spite of weak-kneed friends and open traitors at home, and a sharp enemy outside, we can and will keep the old ship together.

To fail now is to establish the most dangerous military government for our neighbors that the world ever saw. Five or six millions of whites despising labor, and having a black slave race to work for them, while they fight! If we disarm, with such a neighbor unconquered, and our so-called democracy ready to ally itself with them, we may as well give up our government at once and return to feudalism.

I hope you will give me the benefit of a hint now and then from your deep stores of financial experience, and am, with best regards to Mrs. Bates,

Yours, very truly,
J. M. Forbes.

SOURCE: Sarah Forbes Hughes, Letters and Recollections of John Murray Forbes, Volume 1, p. 339-40

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