Showing posts with label Fire-eaters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fire-eaters. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Jonathan Worth to Johnson and Farnsworth, May 22, 1861

ASHEBORO, May 22nd, 1861.

This State is now a perfect unit as the North seems to be. No man desired or worked harder than myself to preserve the Union, but the Abolitionists North and the fire-eaters South have gradually forced everybody into the ranks of the one or the other. In N. C. the Union sentiment was largely in the ascendant and gaining strength until Lincoln prostrated us. Congress having refused to pass the force bill, we felt that the President could abandon Sumter and Pickens without any sacrifice of his principles, but in conformity with the Legislative will. He induced the whole South so to believe. The assurance of Seward to Judge Campbell seems to have been made with deliberate duplicity, and we can not doubt that Mr. Lincoln knew his policy would disarm all Union men in the Southern States. He did more than all the secessionists to break up the Union, but whether he did this, not being statesman enough to comprehend the effect of his measures; or whether his purpose was to drive all the slave States into rebellion, thinking he could bring against us men enough, with the aid of a servile insurrection, to overthrow us and abolish Slavery, we are in doubt. If the Union be restored, the War must at once cease.  Our white population and our slaves will resist to the death. I infer from all I can see that Lincoln's measures have united the North. The have certainly united North Carolina. The North must stop her warlike measures and consent to a severance of the government—or the God of Battles must long gloat over the carnage of alienated brethren. Reason has left. Rage controls both sections.

God save the Country.-

Gov. Graham, as I presume you know, is universally respected for every quality which should commend the regard of good and wise men. He was as strong for the Union as Edward Everett till Lincoln's proclamation. I enclose a late speech of his. Have it published in some of your leading papers. Let good men North and South understand each other.


SOURCE: J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton, Editor, The Correspondence of Jonathan Worth, Volume 1, p. 50-1

Saturday, May 16, 2020

American Sneaks in Canada.

At present there is a stream of emigrants to Canada of all persons who have left the country for its good.  They are of three classes—runaways from the South who want their section to win, but are too cowardly to fight, refugees from the North who dread being called to fight for their country; and a few timid persons from both North and South, who fear to lose their little property in the commotion of war.  A letter from Niagara Falls to the St. Louis Republican speaks of these refugees in the following not very complimentary terms:

‘Prominent among those here—and they may be found also at Hamilton, Toronto, Kingston and Windsor—is the typical Southern fire-eater, whose appetite for war is immense.  He can himself whip five detestable Yankees.  He belongs to earth’s nobility; has never believed in the d----d Yankee government ; in fact, has been a tory descendant of a tory family.  Sad to say this beau chevalier is seedy and out at the elbows.  His pungent oaths startle out the stolid but practical Britons.  There is a cant of respectability which should be backed up by clean linnen and an honest face, to be successful.  Among them are some who have heads for schemes and plots, of which they are ever full, but they are mainly harmless; nothing more desperate than the seizing of a trading vessel from her un-armed officers.

‘Then there is a sprinkling of snarling, disappointed office-holders and place seekers.  These are the representative “Copperheads,” though, strangely differ enough, they with Mr. Vallandigham about reconstruction.  The all        ege “the South will never return to the Union on any terms.”  We suppose there is one condition they do not recon on—defeat!

‘Among the poor, miserable fellows who linger and sponge around the hotels here, are certain parties known as “bounty jumpers”—that is, persons who successively enlist in some of the cities at the North, get the bounty and desert, and keep on repeating the process.  As many as nine were pointed out to me to-day.  One of them, however, named Moor, was recently sent back from Baltimore in his coffin, being detected in the act of deserting.  There are, beside, a goodly share of men who claim to be “escaped prisoners” from Camp Chase, Kelley’s Island and elsewhere.  Perhaps half of them are imposters, who never were prisoners of war, but I fear that very many of the rebels are not held in our hands, but are slipping through our fingers.  It is a forcible comment upon the devotion to the South and its prospects, that they are quite contented to remain in Canada, and insist that it is impossible for them to get back South.”

SOURCE: The Mount Vernon Republican, Mount Vernon, Ohio, Tuesday, August 9, 1864, p. 2

Friday, August 17, 2018

George L. Stearns to William L. Robinson of Boston, December 24, 1860

[December 24, 1860]

I am well satisfied that the Southern Party determined to secede, to see if they could not break up the Republican Party, which they hoped to do by a Northern Panic. They expected to break our banks, paralyze our industry, fail our merchants, and starve our operatives. That this was and is their game is evident by their constant endeavors, both in public and private, to induce the Northerners to make some proposition as a bribe to induce them to remain in the Union.

They have failed. Their plan is exposed, and the effect will be to consolidate the Republican Party more closely than it could be done by any other means. Neither will they be able to secede or break up the Union. It is confessed by the leaders of the Southern Party, they have now lost control of the movement. It is now in the hands of the masses and they tremble before the storm they have raised. If any proof of this was wanting, the fact that eminent Southern men of strong conservative tendencies are now most inveterate Fire-eaters, advocating extreme measures that their private judgment condemns, is conclusive on this point.

Here the leaders are sad; they see the signs of recuperation at the North and the daily depreciation and distress at the South; therefore they are anxious for a compromise. But they will not get it. First, because a compromise is not possible in the nature of things; and secondly, because the Republican Party are fully determined not to make one. An effective compromise is not possible when the parties have no faith in each other, and this is the case with the Northern and Southern parties.

Do you ask, What shall we do? I answer, Keep quiet*

I told you a short time since that no act of Congress or resolution of a convention could be of any avail to settle this controversy. That is in the hands of the Lord. To-day I believe it more firmly than ever.

* This watchword explains Sumner's attitude during the winter of 1861. Perhaps it originated with Sumner.

SOURCE: Preston Stearns, The Life and Public Services of George Luther Stearns, p. 238-40

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Montgomery Blair to Gustavus V. Fox, January 31, 1861

Wash. 31 Jany 61
Dear Fox:

I recd yours about the Tug of War yesterday and laid it before Genl Scott, who upon reading it said it had been reported by Blount and your qualifications extolled to the highest degree and that he knew no man in whose judgment of a Sailor he had more implicit confidence than in Blount. I gave him a short sketch of your personal history myself and left the letter. I rather suspect, from what appears in the papers, that there may have been already attempts and perhaps powerful attempts made to relieve Fort Sumpter upon your scheme substantially, that is, by boats from heavier vessels lying out at night. I have some doubt whether in fact the authorities would not connive at reenforcement made in a manner not to subject them to suspicion of complicity. I cannot think the Gov. of S.C. is at all anxious to drive the Gnl Gov't to an expedition against Charleston involving a great battle between the forces of the North and South to relieve this garrison. It must come to that, if relief is not furnished in the manner you suggest. In a controversy of the sort I refer to, there must be immense destruction of life, and no one can doubt what the ultimate result must be. I can therefore well see that men of forecaste should seek to avoid bringing it to their own doors. I am not sure however that it will not come to that, and it may not in the end be the worst course. The real cause of our trouble arises from the notion generally entertained at the South that the men of the North are inferiors and the rebellion springs altogether from pride which revolts against submission to supposed inferiors. You hear these blusterers say every where that one Southern man is equal to half a dozen Yankees, and that feeling has impelled them to appeal from the Constitutional mode of determining who shall govern, to arms. They will not submit, they say, to mere numbers made up of the Mudsills, the factory people and shop keepers of the North. They swell just like the grandiloquent Mexicans. And I really fear that nothing short of the lesson we had to give Mexico to teach the Spanish don better manners, will ever satisfy the Southern Gascons that the people of the North are their equals even upon the field upon which they have now chosen to test the questions. And it is my deliberate opinion that nothing will do so much to secure real and permanent fraternity between the Sections as a decisive defeat on this field. It will show the Southern people that they wholly mistake the quality of the men they are taught by demagogues to despise. Having taught them to respect the North, conciliatory language wd be listened to as proceeding from kindness of feeling and not from fear and in a short time a better state of feeling wd grow up than has ever existed between the two Sections.

I do not at all believe in the dissolution of the Union, or that the application of force involving the destruction of life to preserve the Union will so exasperate the Sections as to render reconciliation impossible. On the contrary, I believe that it is necessary to enforce the laws to prevent a deeper contempt falling upon the North than is now entertained by the South, and that having vindicated the laws and secured respect even at the cost of blood, the real good feeling which the people of the North have for the South will work off all bitterness in a short time. In other words, in this, as in all cases, I believe it is wisest and most politic to do exactly right. It is not right to suffer this noble fabric of freedom to be overthrown by demagoguery. It needs but determination in the rulers of the people to maintain and to save it from all its enemies, and with less of blood and treasure than any alarmist will believe. I am for the Union, now and forever, and against all its enemies, whether fire-eaters or abolitionists.

Love to Gin and believe me,
Yrs truly,

SOURCE: Robert Means Thompson & Richard Wainwright, Editors, Publications of the Naval Historical Society, Volume 9: Confidential Correspondence of Gustavus Vasa Fox, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, 1861-1865, Volume 1, p. 3-5

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Hawkins Taylor to Abraham Lincoln, December 27, 1859

Keokuk Dec 27th 1859
My Dear Sir

Our State Convention comes off soon probably too Soon for the appointment of delegates to the National Republican Convention. As the National Convention is so convenient I am truly sorry that our Convention was appointed so early, there may be great changes in public sentiment between now and next June. I do not expect to be a delegate to the Convention. I do not know how many delegates we may have but th[ere] will probably be one to each Judicial District appointed who will be appointed from our district it is hard to say. There is probably more than half the Political talent in the State in our Judicial District still I will fill my part in the appointment of Delegates at the State Convention and if alive and well I will be at the National Convention and I hope able to exert some influence and the Question is who is the Right Man to bear the Republican Banner In my opinion he should be Conservative yet thoroughly honest and above evry thing else a man of Iron Nerve And evry Kick a Republican. Let him say to the South keep your Slaves if you want to. You shall be fully protected in all your Constitutional Rights, but you must let all free Territory alone except as free setlers while it remains a Territory. You shall have all the Appointments both at home & abroad that your White population entitle you to but not one more. You must let the mails of the Country alone

In a word behave your selves as other people have to do and you Shall be treated as other people are

The candidate should be thoroughly in favor of the Homestead Bill and the Great Central National Road to the Pacific and a Good Tariff Man in feeling. With such a man there no danger of defeat. But without such a man victory would be a defeat worse than defeat itself

I would rather see you the candidate than any other man, but I am willing to see Camron & You the candidates or I am willing to see Bates and some Pensylvany Man the candidates. I have some doubts of Bates. I fear that there is too much “Old Line Whig” about him and besides I would rather see both the Candidates taken from Free States so that we could Show the conservative portion of the South that the Republican party can be a National & conservative party when in power and the Fire Eaters that they can & will be Hung by a Republican administration if they do not behave them selves. I hope & trust that Douglass is politically dead for the next four years at least so far as being a Candidate for President is concerned It is not worth while to disguise the fact he is Strong stronger than any other Man that could be nominated It would be next to impossible to keep him from getting Iowa & all of the Western States, over almost any body And very largely over such candidates as Seward, Chase, Banks, or any such men. The West will not vote for any but a Western Man against a Western Man. We Want and must have free Lands And a Pacific Road and if the National Republican Convention do not give us such a man they need not make a nomination with any hope of success, unless the Locos nominate Some fireeater Which they are sure not to do. They will give us a Third addition of the Polk & Pierce Dodge or I am mistaken

Write me fully when you receive this I am very anxious to hear from you before our State Convention

Yours truly
Hawkins Taylor
Hon. A. Lincoln

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Diary of Mary Boykin Chesnut: December 10, 1860

We have been up to the Mulberry Plantation with Colonel Colcock and Judge Magrath, who were sent to Columbia by their fellow-citizens in the low country, to hasten the slow movement of the wisdom assembled in the State Capital. Their message was, they said: “Go ahead, dissolve the Union, and be done with it, or it will be worse for you. The fire in the rear is hottest.” And yet people talk of the politicians leading! Everywhere that I have been people have been complaining bitterly of slow and lukewarm public leaders.

Judge Magrath is a local celebrity, who has been stretched across the street in effigy, showing him tearing off his robes of office. The painting is in vivid colors, the canvas huge, and the rope hardly discernible. He is depicted with a countenance flaming with contending emotions—rage, disgust, and disdain. We agreed that the time had now come. We had talked so much heretofore. Let the fire-eaters have it out. Massachusetts and South Carolina are always coming up before the footlights.

As a woman, of course, it is easy for me to be brave under the skins of other people; so I said: “Fight it out. Bluffton1 has brought on a fever that only bloodletting will cure.” My companions breathed fire and fury, but I dare say they were amusing themselves with my dismay, for, talk as I would, that I could not hide.

At Kingsville we encountered James Chesnut, fresh from Columbia, where he had resigned his seat in the United States Senate the-day before. Said some one spitefully, “Mrs. Chesnut does not look at all resigned.” For once in her life, Mrs. Chesnut held her tongue: she was dumb. In the high-flown style which of late seems to have gotten into the very air, she was offering up her life to the cause.

We have had a brief pause. The men who are all, like Pickens,2 “insensible to fear,” are very sensible in case of small-pox. There being now an epidemic of small-pox in Columbia, they have adjourned to Charleston. In Camden we were busy and frantic with excitement, drilling, marching, arming, and wearing high blue cockades. Red sashes, guns, and swords were ordinary fireside accompaniments. So wild were we, I saw at a grand parade of the home-guard a woman, the wife of a man who says he is a secessionist per se, driving about to see the drilling of this new company, although her father was buried the day before.

Edward J. Pringle writes me from San Francisco on November 30th: “I see that Mr. Chesnut has resigned and that South Carolina is hastening into a Convention, perhaps to secession. Mr. Chesnut is probably to be President of the Convention. I see all of the leaders in the State are in favor of secession. But I confess I hope the black Republicans will take the alarm and submit some treaty of peace that will enable us now and forever to settle the question, and save our generation from the prostration of business and the decay of prosperity that must come both to the North and South from a disruption of the Union. However, I won't speculate. Before this reaches you, South Carolina may be off on her own hook — a separate republic.”

1 A reference to what was known as “the Bluffton movement” of 1844, in South Carolina. It aimed at secession, but was voted down.

2 Francis W. Pickens, Governor of South Carolina, 1860-62. He had been elected to Congress in 1834 as a Nullifier, but had voted against the " Bluffton movement." From 1858 to 1860, he was Minister to Russia. He was a wealthy planter and had fame as an orator.

SOURCE: Mary Boykin Chesnut, Edited by Isabella D. Martin and Myrta Lockett Avary, A Diary From Dixie, p. 2-4

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Brownlow makes Another Speech

At a meeting of the Pioneer Association of Cincinnati, held on Saturday last, Parson Brownlow made another characteristic speech.  We find it reported in the Gazette:

GENTLEMEN:  I feel called upon to respond to the document read by the honorable secretary, and also the address of the gentlemen from the General Assembly who has just taken his seat.  I authorize the gentleman and the honorable Secretary to say, that I shall be proud and happy to visit the capital as the guest of the General Assembly; but I cannot say when I shall be able to accept their kind invitation. – The truth is, I have completely taken in my friend, the host of the Gibson House, who on my arrival here in this city, came to meet me on the steamboat, and invited me to make his house my home during my stay here.  I fear he will get more than he bargained for.  I am very comfortable there, and shall certainly enjoy his hospitality some while longer yet.  But still, I want to visit the capital of your State, to undo the machinations and refute the sayings of a certain bogus nephew of mine, whom, if God does not know anything more about him than I do, will be inevitably and irretrievably lost in a coming day.

My mind has been variously exercised while I have been sitting here.  This is not a society of young men and boys, but a society of old men; men who are true to the backbone – loyal, faithful, patriotic men, who old as they are would lay down with eager joy a life almost worn out under the beneficent protection of the best Government ever established on God’s beautiful earth.  They are honest men – none of your mean, pitiful, swindling, God-forsaken, rascally demagogues, who have used the strength God endowed them with to endeavor to overturn his most sacred institution – our Government.  I am no candidate for popular favor – I want no office, although I did take a tilt against Isham Harris. [Laughter.]  I am not adapted for an office, and as I said before, I don’t want one; but I am a Federal, and I believe in a strong Government – one that has the power and the ability and the energy to put down treason – to crush out traitors; and in short, gentlemen, to take care of itself.  I think that your present Government is the right kind of Government, but still not entirely so, inasmuch as it is hardly in earnest enough in the stupendous work it is now occupied in; but I hope and believe that with God’s help and our backing, that this Government will soon put down the most diabolical treason that has ever been seen in any part of the world.

I have fought many battles; religious battles, political battles and every other kind of battles, and I have encountered the devil, Tom Walker and the Southern Confederacy, [Laughter and applause,] and it has gone hard with one to be called after, and pointed at so long, as a traitor, by all the miserable, sneaking, cowardly rascals who have torn and rent this glorious Union apart.  My father was a volunteer in my country’s army and my uncle lived and died in the service of his country, and thank God their graves are still in possession of the Federals.  My mother’s relatives also shed their blood at their country’s call at Norfolk, and yet I am called a traitor, and by such despicable men as compose the Southern Confederacy.

Mr. Eggelston alluded to the crushing out of my paper.  Yes, gentlemen, the office from which came the last sheets in defense of the Union, ever published in Knoxville, was cleaned out and converted into a workshop for repairing and altering all the arms stolen by that accomplished thief and runaway, Floyd.  All my ambition now, is to go back once more to Knoxville to establish another office.  Once more to spread abroad the glorious truths of the Union; and once more to take from a drawer in my own house, the flag which so long waved defiantly in the breeze, while these hellhounds were longing, and yet not daring to tear down and trample it in the dust.

I would never have taken down that flag but for the females in my own house, who besought and entreated me to do so, lest the house should be torn down about their ears.

One day a crowd surrounded my house and threatened to tear down my flag; but I warned them they would have to do it in the face of six loaded muskets, which would be used by men who would never flinch from their duty.  They took sober second thought, and marched away, but presently about fifteen came back again, drunker than ever, led by a young officer who was desired to tear the d----d thing of a flag down.  In the meanwhile, I had left my house and gone to the office, leaving my wife in charge.  She came forward and expressed her intention of shooting the first man who attempted to haul down the flag.  The officer was slightly scared, and said:

“Madam, you won’t shoot, will you?”

“You had better try the experiment,” said she.

“Go on, go on!” shouted the crowd, “She daren’t shoot!”

She instantly drew from her pocket one of the Colt’s revolvers and cocking leveled it at the officer’s head.  “Never mind her, she’s only a woman,” cried the mob.  “By God! look at her eye,” said the officer as, as he made a low bow, scraped the ground and toddled off, followed by the whole crowd.  The gentleman addressed me expressing his regret that my paper is stopped and my office is closed, and I reply to him that all my ambition is to go back to Knoxville and resurrect my old paper.  To go back with new presses and new type, and with a soul renewed and revived by a baptism in the glorious liberty of northern States.  And I also want to go back there, and repay a debt of gratitude I owe to about one hundred and fifty of the most unmitigated scoundrels that can be found on the face of the earth.  To liberate a people oppressed and defrauded by the most Satanic conspiracy ever consummated.  Defrauded and duped by Southern confederacy bonds.  Bonds having on one side a full length portrait of Jeff. Davis and a picture of a henroost on the other, bearing on them the words: “I promise to pay, six months after declaration of peace between the Southern Confederacy and the United States of North America, $50.”

They have fixed a time which never can and never will come.  The only treaty of peace which we can have will be accomplished with powder and ball and river gunboats.  There is nothing which fills a rebel with so much horror as gunboats.  They would rather meet Old Nick, horns and all, than to meet our gunboats.  But this is not strange, perhaps, when we recollect their near relationship to that sable individual.

Some time since, I stood alone amidst 2,000 rebel soldiers, and I said, in my address to them: “It is you of the South that are to blame.  The North have not precipitated this war on us; it is you who have done it.  You complained of an infringement of Southern rights when there was no infringement.  You complained of Northern encroachments when there were none, and you have rushed into a war of the most wicked kind, without the shadow of reason.”

But, gentlemen of Ohio, I do not and cannot exonerate the North, and I say in brief to you, that if, fifty years ago, we had taken 100 Southern Fire-eaters and 100 Northern Abolitionists and hanged them up and buried them in a common ditch and sent their souls to hell, we should have had none of this war. [Immense applause.]  I am speaking too long [Cries of “No! no!”  “Go on!”  “Don’t allow that talk.”]  But in looking around on this assembly I notice that Time has written his mark unmistakably on the countenances of a large proportion of this audience.  Many are growing gray; I am getting old myself, and I know not how soon the span of our existence may be shortened and the spirit take its flight to realms of eternal joy and happiness or everlasting misery.  It behooves us all then, to see to it that we are prepared for this change wherever and whenever it may come, and may God in his infinite mercy bless and keep us all.

– Published in The Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, April 5, 1862, p. 1