Several days ago while doing my nightly walk through at Facebook I came across the following image… but knowing what I know regarding the War of Northern Aggression (be patient here you poor under educated children) I knew that there was more to all of it, but as I expected there WAS more – much more, and so I went on an expedition. The image at right, is accurate, but heavily edited to make a point – and a very accurate one at that, but I wanted it all and Lo and behold my students, the archives are there – in full.
Of course, one must continue to wonder, why both sides always seem to want to pick and choose how they present their respective ‘side‘ of an issue, but understand – the basis of the image – is spot on, but let us review the entire column – back when the New York Times was a respectable publication. We’ll have a few comments at the close of today’s class. – J.B.
The Great Question
March 30, 1861 ~ The predicament in which both the Government and the commerce of the country are placed, through the non-enforcement of our revenue laws, is now thoroughly understood the world over. It is as if we should enact that a certain number of our ports should be exempted from their operation. Importations would naturally tend toward these, although they might be greatly inferior in their accommodations or means for distribution. Twenty-five, or thirty, or fifty per cent, saved of their cost would amply compensate for a great many disadvantages. The enactment of such injustice by any Government, would afford good cause for its deposition. Is it much different to consent to its enactment by a rebelling State or port, whereby they may secure to themselves a crowning advantage at the cost of those remaining loyal? The result in both cases is the same, showing either alternative on the part of Government to be equally indefensible. Can Government for an instant rest under the imputation of counseling or permitting legislation that raises rebel provinces to power upon the ruins of those that remain faithful, and that secures to the favorable consideration of the civilized world a revolt, whose sole motive was the perpetuation of Slavery?
Similarly placed, there is not a man in the Free States who would not adopt both the language and conclusion of the English and French people. In trade we look only at value and price. If the manufacturer at Manchester can send his goods into the Western States through New-Orleans at a less cost than through New-York, he is a fool for not availing himself of his advantage. We should do the same thing, and feel fully justified. The English, almost to a man are Abolitionists of the ultra school. They abhor the principles of the Confederate States, but they intend to trade with them notwithstanding. We do not propose to offer a remonstrance, unless we are prepared by force to make good our position.
Government claims jurisdiction over every portion of the country. The Constitution says that taxation shall be everywhere equal and uniform. But Government imposes onerous taxes upon New-York, none upon New-Orleans, and destroys, at the same breath, our means of payment. If the importations of the country are made through Southern ports, its exports will go through the same channel. This is inevitable. The produce of the West, instead of coming to our own port by millions of tons, to be transported abroad by the same ships through which we received our importations, will seek other routes and other outlets. With the loss of our foreign trade, what is to become of our public works, conducted at the cost of many hundred millions of dollars, to turn into our harbor the products of the interior? They share in the common ruin. So do our manufacturers. Is it just for Government to permit a tariff, enacted for their benefit, to be so avoided as to leave them worse off than before? Is it either dignified or provident to have the amount of its revenues depend upon the acts or policy of revolted provinces, who will take any possible means of weakening us to secure impunity to themselves?
The mode by which our revenue laws are now evaded, we have fully shown. New-Orleans de jure is a part of the United States, but not de facto. Once at New-Orleans, goods may be distributed over the whole country, duty free. The process is perfectly simple. No remedy is suggested, except force or treaty. We see no other. But neither means can be resorted to without the action of Congress. For this purpose it appears that it should now be called together. There never has been a time since the election when there was so much unity of conviction and purpose as at the present moment. The commercial bearing of the question has acted upon the North precisely as it has in Europe. We now see clearly whither we are tending, and the policy we must adopt. With us it is no longer an abstract question — one of constitutional construction, or of the reserved or delegated powers of the State or Federal Government, but of material existence and moral position both at home and abroad. England and France were indifferent spectators till their interests were affected. We were divided and confused till our pockets were touched. Government has done well in waiting till the future was fully disclosed. It could not till then have had the requisite moral and material support for a decisive step. But firm and prompt action will now have an universal response. The time for meeting the question at issue has come. We desire peace — reconciliation, if possible, — but we must know where we stand.
We are confident that a temperate but firm stand would do more for us in the Border States than continued inaction. Government cannot forego the exercise of its attributes without the country sinking into anarchy. It is now getting to be a common saying among ourselves that we have no Government. We shall soon hear the echo of this from abroad. Already the Frenchmen tell us that the present form of our Government has continued too long — that its failure is proved. We must not allow such a conviction to make further headway either at home or abroad.
Suppose we continue inert and inactive — will the Confederate States? By no means, They are straining every nerve to gain standing before we move. If we allow the revenue laws to remain untouched, they will have a recognition in every Court in Europe — all effected by a blunder, which is destroying our prosperity at home as much as it is undermining our position abroad. The South well know our strength. If they understood that it was to be vigorously exerted, unless we had fair play, they would concede it at once. But they rely upon our inaction as a means of gaining their ends. Let us put a speedy end to all such expectations, and hold ourselves in readiness to accept promptly any alternative that our interest or our duty may impose upon us.
(A version of this archive appeared in print on March 30, 1861, on Page 4 of the New York edition.)
Well, well, well – does it give the reader a different take on the REAL cause of the War? Although his name was not mentioned once in the column, we now have a better understanding of the lies perpetrated by Mr. Lincoln. We know the true reason for “saving the Union” – and the enslavement of all ‘subjects’ within said dis-union – was the object. It would appear that Mr. Lincoln won his war after all – but The South Was Right.
A copy of the full printed version from the New York Times can be viewed via this pdf.