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Abraham Lincoln and the Union, A Chronicle of the Embattled North by Nathaniel W. Stephenson

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assured him that "the policy of the Government was to adhere to a
strict neutrality and leave the struggle to settle itself." In
the last analysis, the Northern party in England was gaining
ground. The news from America, possibly, and Gladstone's
rashness, certainly, roused it to increased activity.
Palmerston, whose tenure of power was none too secure, dared not
risk a break that might carry the disaffected into the ranks of
the Opposition.

From this time forward the North rapidly grew in favor in British
public opinion, and its influence upon the Government speedily

Says Lord Charnwood in his recent life of Lincoln: "The battle of
Antietam was followed within five days by an event which made it
impossible for any government of this country to take action
unfriendly to the North." He refers of course to the
Emancipation Proclamation, which was issued on September 23,
1862. Lord Charnwood's remark may be too dramatic. But there
can be no doubt that the Emancipation Proclamation was the
turning-point in Lincoln's foreign policy; and because of it, his
friends in England eventually forced the Government to play into
his hands, and so frustrated Napoleon's scheme for intervention.
Consequently Lincoln was able to maintain the blockade by means
of which the South was strangled. Thus, at bottom, the crucial
matter was Emancipation.

Lincoln's policy with regard to slavery passed through three
distinct stages. As we have seen, he proposed, at first, to
pledge the Government not to interfere with slavery in the States
where it then existed. This was his maximum of compromise. He
would not agree to permitting its extension into new territory.
He maintained this position through 1861, when it was made an
accusation against him by the Abolitionists and contributed to
the ebb of his popularity. It also played a great part in the
episode of Fremont. At a crucial moment in Fremont's career,
when his hold upon popularity seemed precarious, he set at naught
the policy of the President and issued an order (August 30,
1861), which confiscated all property and slaves of those who
were in arms against the United States or actively aiding the
enemy, and which created a "bureau of abolition." Whether
Fremont was acting from conviction or "playing politics" may be
left to his biographers. In a most tactful letter Lincoln asked
him to modify the order so as to conform to the Confiscation Act
of Congress; and when Fremont proved obdurate, Lincoln ordered
him to do so. In the outcry against Lincoln when Fremont was at
last removed, the Abolitionists rang the changes on this reversal
of his policy of military abolition.

Another Federal General, Benjamin F. Butler, in the course of
1861, also raised the issue, though not in the bold fashion of
Fremont. Runaway slaves came to his camp on the Virginia coast,
and he refused to surrender them to the owners. He took the
ground that, as they had probably been used in building
Confederate fortifications, they might be considered contraband
of war. He was sustained by Congress, which passed what is
commonly called the First Confiscation Act providing that slaves
used by Confederate armies in military labor should, if captured,
be "forfeited"--which of course meant that they should be set
free. But this did not settle what should be done with runaways
whose masters, though residents of seceded States, were loyal to
the Union. The War Department decided that they should be held
until the end of the war, when probably there would be made "just
compensation to loyal masters."

This first stage of Lincoln's policy rested upon the hope that
the Union might be restored without prolonged war. He abandoned
this hope about the end of the year. Thereupon, his policy
entered its second stage. In the spring of 1862 he formulated a
plan for gradual emancipation with compensation. The slaves of
Maryland, Delaware, Kentucky, Missouri, and the District of
Columbia were to be purchased at the rate of $400 each, thus
involving a total expenditure of $173,000,000. Although Congress
adopted the joint resolution recommended by the President, the
"border States" would not accept the plan. But Congress, by
virtue of its plenary power, freed the slaves by purchase in the
District of Columbia, and prohibited slavery in all the
territories of the United States.

During the second stage of his policy Lincoln again had to
reverse the action of an unruly general. The Federal forces
operating from their base at Port Royal had occupied a
considerable portion of the Carolina coast. General Hunter
issued an order freeing all the slaves in South Carolina,
Georgia, and Florida. In countermanding the order, Lincoln made
another futile appeal to the people of the border States to adopt
some plan of compensated emancipation.

"I do not argue," he said; "I beseech you to make arguments for
yourselves. You cannot, if you would be blind to the signs of
the times. I beg of you a calm and enlarged consideration of
them, ranging, if it may be, far above personal and partisan
politics. This proposal makes common cause for a common object,
casting no reproaches upon any. It acts not the Pharisee. The
change it contemplates would come gently as the dews of heaven,
not rending or wrecking anything. Will you not embrace it? So
much good has not been done by one effort in all past time, as in
the providence of God it is now your high privilege to do. May
the vast future not have to lament that you neglected it. "

This persuasive attitude and reluctance to force the issue had
greatly displeased the Abolitionists. Their most gifted orator,
Wendell Phillips, reviled Lincoln with all the power of his
literary genius, and with a fury that might be called malevolent.
Meanwhile, a Second Confiscation Act proclaimed freedom for the
slaves of all those who supported the Confederate Government.
Horace Greeley now published in the "New York Tribune" an
editorial entitled, "The Prayer of Twenty Millions." He
denounced Lincoln's treatment of Fremont and Hunter and demanded
radical action. Lincoln replied in a letter now famous. "I would
save the Union," said he, "I would save it the shortest way under
the Constitution.... If I could save the Union without freeing
any slave, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some
and leaving others alone, I would also do that. What I do about
slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to
save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not
believe it would help to save the Union."

However, at the very time when he wrote this remarkable letter,
he had in his own mind entered upon the third stage of his
policy. He had even then discussed with his Cabinet an
announcement favoring general emancipation. The time did not
seem to them ripe. It was decided to wait until a Federal
victory should save the announcement from appearing to be a cry
of desperation. Antietam, which the North interpreted as a
victory, gave Lincoln his opportunity.

The Emancipation Proclamation applied only to the States in arms
against the Federal Government. Such States were given three
months in which to return to the Union. Thereafter, if they did
not return, their slaves would be regarded by that Government as
free. No distinction was made between slaves owned by supporters
of the Confederacy and those whose owners were in opposition to
it. The Proclamation had no bearing on those slave States which
had not seceded. Needless to add, no seceded State returned, and
a second Proclamation making their slaves theoretically free was
in due time issued on the first of January, 1863.

It must not be forgotten that this radical change of policy was
made in September, 1862. We have already heard of the elections
which took place soon after--those elections which mark perhaps
the lowest ebb of Lincoln's popularity, when Seymour was elected
Governor of New York, and the peace party gained over thirty
seats in Congress. It is a question whether, as a purely
domestic measure, the Emancipation Proclamation was not, for the
time, an injury to the Lincoln Government. And yet it was the
real turningpoint in the fortunes of the North. It was the
central fact in the maintenance of the blockade.

In England at this time the cotton famine was at its height.
Nearly a million people in the manufacturing districts were
wholly dependent upon charity. This result of the blockade had
been foreseen by the Confederate Government which was confident
that the distress of England's working people would compel the
English ministry to intervene and break the blockade. The
employers in England whose loss was wholly financial, did as the
Confederates hoped they would do. The workmen, however, took a
different course. Schooled by a number of able debaters, they
fell into line with that third group of political leaders who saw
in the victory of the North, whatever its motives, the eventual
extinction of slavery. To these people, the Emancipation
Proclamation gave a definite programme. It was now, the leaders
argued, no longer a question of eventual effect; the North had
proclaimed a motive and that motive was the extinction of
slavery. Great numbers of Englishmen of all classes who had
hitherto held back from supporting Cobden and Bright now ranged
themselves on their side. Addresses of praise and sympathy
"began to pour into the Legation of the United States in a steady
and ever swelling stream." An immense popular demonstration took
place at Exeter Hall. Cobden, writing to Sumner, described the
new situation in British politics, in a letter amounting to an
assurance that the Government never again would attempt to resist
the popular pressure in favor of the North.

On the last day of 1862 a meeting of workingmen at Manchester,
where the cotton famine was causing untold misery, adopted one of
those New Year greetings to Lincoln. Lincoln's reply expressed
with his usual directness his own view of the sympathetic
relation that had been established between the democratic classes
of the two countries:

"I know and deeply deplore the sufferings which the workingmen at
Manchester, and in all Europe, are called to endure in this
crisis. It has been often and studiously represented that the
attempt to overthrow this Government, which was built upon the
foundation of human rights, and to substitute for it one which
should rest exclusively on the basis of human slavery, was likely
to obtain the favor of Europe. Through the action of our
disloyal citizens, the workingmen of Europe have been subjected
to severe trials, for the purpose of forcing their sanction to
that attempt. Under the circumstances, I cannot but regard your
decisive utterances upon the question as an instance of sublime
Christian heroism which has not been surpassed in any age or in
any country. It is indeed an energetic and reinspiring assurance
of the inherent power of truth, and of the ultimate triumph of
justice, humanity, and freedom. I do not doubt that the
sentiments you have expressed will be sustained by your great
nation; and, on the other hand, I have no hesitation in assuring
you that they will excite admiration, esteem, and the most
reciprocal feelings of friendship among the American people. I
hail this interchange of sentiment, therefore, as an augury that
whatever else may happen, whatever misfortune may befall your
country or my own, the peace and friendship which now exists
between the two nations will be, as it shall be my desire to make
them, perpetual."


Though the defeat of the Democrats at the polls in 1863 and the
now definitely friendly attitude of England had done much to
secure the stability of the Lincoln Government, this success was
due in part to a figure which now comes to the front and deserves
attentive consideration. Indeed the work of Salmon Portland
Chase, Secretary of the Treasury, forms a bridge, as one might
say, between the first and second phases of Lincoln's

The interesting Englishman who is the latest biographer of
Lincoln says of Chase: "Unfortunately, this imposing person was a
sneak." But is Lord Charnwood justified in that surprising
characterization? He finds support in the testimony of Secretary
Welles, who calls Chase, "artful dodger, unstable, and
unreliable." And yet there is another side, for it is the
conventional thing in America to call him our greatest finance
minister since Hamilton, and even a conspicuous enemy said of
him, at a crucial moment, that his course established his
character "as an honest and frank man."

Taking these contradictory estimates as hints of a contradiction
in the man, we are forced to the conclusion that Chase was a
professional in politics and an amateur in finance. Perhaps
herein is the whole explanation of the two characteristics of his
financial policy--his reluctance to lay taxes, and his faith in
loans. His two eyes did not see things alike. One was really
trying to make out the orthodox path of finance; the other was
peering along the more devious road of popular caprice.

The opening of the war caught the Treasury, as it caught all
branches of the Government, utterly unprepared. Between April
and July, 1861, Chase had to borrow what he could. When Congress
met in July, his real career as director of financial policy
began--or, as his enemies think, failed to begin. At least, he
failed to urge upon Congress the need of new taxes and appeared
satisfied with himself asking for an issue of $240,000,000 in
bonds bearing not less than seven per cent interest. Congress
voted to give him $250,000,000 of which $50,000,000 might be
interest-bearing treasury notes; made slight increases in duties;
and Prepared for excise and direct taxation the following year.
Later in the year Congress laid a three per cent tax on all
incomes in excess of $800.

When Congress reassembled in December, 1861, expenditures were
racing ahead of receipts, and there was a deficit of
$143,000,000. It must not be forgotten that this month was a time
of intense excitability and of nervous reaction. Fremont had
lately been removed, and the attack on Cameron had begun. At
this crucial moment the situation was made still more alarming by
the action of the New York banks, followed by all other banks, in
suspending specie payments. They laid the responsibility upon
Chase. A syndicate of banks in New York, Boston, and
Philadelphia had come to the aid of the Government, but when they
took up government bonds, Chase had required them to pay the full
value cash down, though they had asked permission to hold the
money on deposit and to pay it as needed on requisition by the
Government. Furthermore, in spite of their protest, Chase issued
treasury notes, which the banks had to receive from their
depositors, who nevertheless continued to demand specie. On
January 1, 1862, the banks owed $459,000,000 and had in specie
only $87,000,000. Chase defended his course by saying that the
financial crisis was not due to his policy--or lack of policy, as
it would now seem--but to a general loss of faith in the outcome
of the war.

There now arose a moral crisis for this "imposing person" who was
Secretary of the Treasury--a crisis with regard to which there
are still differences of opinion. While he faced his problem
silently, the Committee on Ways and Means in the House took the
matter in hand: Its solution was an old one which all sound
theorists on finance unite in condemning--the issue of
irredeemable paper money. And what did the Secretary of the
Treasury do? Previously, as Governor of Ohio, he had denounced
paper money as, in effect, a fraud upon society. Long after,
when the tide of fortune had landed him in the high place of
Supreme Justice, he returned to this view and condemned as
unconstitutional the law of 1862 establishing a system of paper
money. But at the time when that law was passed Chase, though he
went through the form of protesting, soon acquiesced. Before
long he was asking Congress to allow a further issue of what he
had previously called "fraudulent" money.

The answer to the question whether Chase should have stuck to his
principles and resigned rather than acquiesce in the paper money
legislation turns on that other question--how were the politician
and the financier related in his make-up?

Before Congress and the Secretary had finished, $450,000,000 were
issued. Prices naturally rose, and there was speculation in
gold. Even before the first issue of paper money, the treasury
notes had been slightly below par. In January, 1863, a hundred
dollars in paper would bring, in New York, only $69.00 in gold; a
year later, after falling, rising, and falling again, the value
was $64.00; in July and August, 1864, it was at its lowest,
$39.00; when the war closed, it had risen to $67.00. There was
powerful protest against the legislation responsible for such a
condition of affairs. Justin Morrill, the author of the Morrill
tariff, said, "I would as soon provide Chinese wooden guns for
the army as paper money alone for the army. It will be a breach
of public faith. It will injure creditors; it will increase
prices; it will increase many fold the cost of the war." Recent
students agree, in the main, that his prophecies were fulfilled;
and a common estimate of the probable increase in the cost of the
war through the use of paper money and the consequent inflation
of prices is $600,000,000.

There was much more financial legislation in 1862; but Chase
continued to stand aside and allow Congress the lead in
establishing an excise law, an increase in the income tax, and a
higher tariff--the last of which was necessitated by the excise
law which has been described as a bill "that taxed everything."
To enable American manufacturers to bear the excise duties levied
upon their business, protection was evoked to secure them the
possession of their field by excluding foreign competition. All
these taxes, however, produced but a fraction of the Government's
revenue. Borrowing, the favorite method of the Secretary, was
accepted by Congress as the main resource. It is computed that
by means of taxation there was raised in the course of the war
$667,163,247.00, while during the same period the Government
borrowed $2,621,916,786.00.

Whatever else he may think of Chase, no one denies that in 1862
he had other interests besides finance. Lincoln's Cabinet in
those days was far from an harmonious body. All through its
history there was a Chase faction and a Seward faction. The
former had behind them the Radical Republicans, while the latter
relied upon the support of the moderates. This division in the
Republican party runs deep through the politics of the time.
There seems to be good reason to think that Chase was not taken
by surprise when his radical allies in Congress, in December,
1862, demanded of Lincoln the removal of Seward. It will be
remembered that the elections of the autumn of 1862 had gone
against Lincoln. At this moment of dismay, the friends of Chase
struck their blow. Seward instantly offered his resignation.
But Lincoln skillfully temporized. Thereupon, Chase also
resigned. Judging from the scanty evidence we have of his
intention, we may conclude that he thought he had Lincoln in a
corner and that he expected either to become first minister or
the avowed chief of an irresistible opposition. But he seems to
have gone too fast for his followers. Lincoln had met them,
together with his Cabinet, in a conference in December, 1862, and
frankly discussed the situation, with the result that some of
them wavered. When Lincoln informed both Seward and Chase that
he declined to accept their resignations, both returned--Seward
with alacrity, Chase with reluctance. One of the clues to
Lincoln's cabinet policy was his determination to keep both these
factions committed to the Government, without allowing himself to
be under the thumb of either.

During the six months following the cabinet crisis Chase appears
at his best. A stupendous difficulty lay before him and he
attacked it manfully. The Government's deficit was $276,900,000.
Of the loans authorized in 1862--the "five-twenties" as they were
called, bringing six per cent and to run from five to twenty
years at the Government's pleasure---the sales had brought in, to
December, 1862, only $23,750,000, though five hundred million had
been expected. The banks in declining to handle these bonds laid
the blame on the Secretary, who had insisted that all purchasers
should take them at par.

It is not feasible, in a work of this character, to enter into
the complexities of the financial situation of 1863, or to
determine just what influences caused a revolution in the market
for government bonds. But two factors must be mentioned. Chase
was induced to change his attitude and to sell to banks large
numbers of bonds at a rate below par, thus enabling the banks to
dispose of them at a profit. He also called to his aid Jay
Cooke, an experienced banker, who was allowed a commission of
one-half per cent on all bonds sold up to $10,000,000 and
three-eighths of one per cent after that. Cooke organized a
countrywide agency system, with twenty-five hundred subagents
through whom he offered directly to the people bonds in small
denominations. By all manner of devices, patriotism and the
purchase of bonds were made to appear the same thing, and before
the end of the year $400,000,000 in five-twenty bonds had been
sold. This campaign to dispose of the five-twenties was the
turning-point in war finance, and later borrowings encountered no
such difficulties as those of 1862 and 1863.

Better known today than this precarious legislation is the famous
Act of 1863, which was amended in the next year and which forms
the basis of our present system of national banks. To Chase
himself the credit for this seems to be due. Even in 1861 he
advised Congress to establish a system of national banks, and he
repeated the advice before it was finally taken. The central
feature of this system which he advocated is one with which we
are still familiar: permission to the banks accepting government
supervision to deposit government bonds in the Treasury and to
acquire in return the right to issue bank-notes to the amount of
ninety per cent of the value of the bonds.

There can be no doubt that Chase himself rated very highly his
own services to his country. Nor is there any doubt that, alone
among Lincoln's close associates, he continued until the end to
believe himself a better man than the President. He and his
radical following made no change in their attitude to Lincoln,
though Chase pursued a course of confidential criticism which has
since inspired the characterization of him as a "sneak," while
his followers were more outspoken. In the summer of 1863 Chase
was seriously talked of as the next President, and before the end
of the year Chase clubs were being organized in all the large
cities to promote his candidacy. Chase himself took the adroit
position of not believing that any President should serve a
second term.

Early in 1864 the Chase organization sent out a confidential
circular signed by Senator Pomeroy of Kansas setting forth the
case against Lincoln as a candidate and the case in favor of
Chase. Unfortunately for Chase, this circular fell into the hands
of a newspaper and was published. Chase at once wrote to Lincoln
denying any knowledge of the circular but admitting his candidacy
and offering his resignation. No more remarkable letter was
written by Lincoln than his reply to Chase, in which he showed
that he had long fully understood the situation, and which he
closed with these words: "Whether you shall remain at the head of
the Treasury Department is a question which I do not allow myself
to consider from any standpoint other than my judgment of the
public service, and, in that view, I do not perceive occasion for

The Chase boom rapidly declined. The deathblow was given by a
caucus of the Union members of the legislature of his own State
nominating Lincoln "at the demand of the people and the soldiers
of Ohio." The defeat embittered Chase. For several months,
however, he continued in the Cabinet, and during this time he had
the mortification of seeing Lincoln renominated in the National
Union Convention amid a great display of enthusiasm.

More than once in the past, Chase had offered his resignation.
On one occasion Lincoln had gone to his house and had begged him
to reconsider his decision. Soon after the renomination, Chase
again offered his resignation upon the pretext of a disagreement
with the President over appointments to office. This time,
however, Lincoln felt the end had come and accepted the
resignation. Chase's successor in the Treasury was William Pitt
Fessenden, Senator from Maine. During most of the summer of 1864
Chase stood aside, sullen and envious, watching the progress of
Lincoln toward a second election. So much did his bitterness
affect his judgment that he was capable of writing in his diary
his belief that Lincoln meant to reverse his policy and consent
to peace with slavery reestablished.


The real effects of war on the life of nations is one of those
old and complicated debates which lie outside the scope of a
volume such as this. Yet in the particular case of the Northern
people it is imperative to answer two questions both of which
have provoked interminable discussion: Was the moral life of the
North good or bad in the war years? Was its commercial life

As to the moral question, contemporary evidence seems at first
sight contradictory. The very able Englishman who represented
the "Times", William H. Russell, gives this ugly picture of an
American city in 1863:

"Every fresh bulletin from the battlefield of Chickamauga, during
my three weeks' stay in Cincinnati, brought a long list of the
dead and wounded of the Western army, many of whom, of the
officers, belonged to the best families of the place. Yet the
signs of mourning were hardly anywhere perceptible; the noisy
gaiety of the town was not abated one jot."

On the other hand, a private manuscript of a Cincinnati family
describes the "intense gloom hanging over the city like a pall"
during the period of that dreadful battle. The memories of old
people at Cincinnati in after days--if they had belonged to the
"loyal" party--contained only sad impressions of a city that was
one great hospital where "all our best people" worked
passionately as volunteer assistants of the government medical

A third fact to be borne in mind in connection with this apparent
contradiction in evidence is the source of the greater fortunes
of Cincinnati, a large proportion of which are to be traced,
directly or indirectly to government contracts during the war.
In some cases the merciless indifference of the Cincinnati
speculators to the troubles of their country are a local scandal
to this day, and it is still told, sometimes with scorn,
sometimes with amusement, how perhaps the greatest of these
fortunes was made by forcing up the price of iron at a time when
the Government had to have iron, cost what it might.

Thus we no sooner take up the moral problem of the times than we
find ourselves involved in the commercial question, for here, as
always, morals and business are intertwined. Was the commercial
management of the North creditable to the Government and an honor
to the people? The surest way to answer such questions is to
trace out with some fullness the commercial and industrial
conditions of the North during the four years of war.

The general reader who looks for the first time into the matter
is likely to be staggered by what statistics seem to say.
Apparently they contradict what he is accustomed to hear from
popular economists about the waste of war. He has been told in
the newspapers that business is undermined by the withdrawal of
great numbers of men from "productive" consumption of the fruits
of labor and their engagement as soldiers in "unproductive"
consumption. But, to his astonishment, he finds that the
statistics of 1861-1865 show much increase in Northern business
--as, for example, in 1865, the production of 142 million pounds
of wool against 60 million in 1860. The government reports show
that 13 million tons of coal were mined in 1860 and 21 million in
1864; in 1860, the output of pig iron was 821,000 tons, and
1,014,282 tons in 1864; the petroleum production rose from 21
million gallons in 1860 to 128 million in 1862; the export of
corn, measured in money, shows for 1860 a business of $2,399,808
compared with $10,592,704 for 1863; wheat exporting showed, also,
an enormous increase, rising from 14 millions in 1860 to 46
millions in 1863. There are, to be sure, many statistics which
seem to contradict these. Some of them will be mentioned
presently. And yet, on the whole, it seems safe to conclude that
the North, at the close of the third year of war was producing
more and was receiving larger profits than in 1860.

To deal with this subject in its entirety would lead us into the
labyrinths of complex economic theory, yet two or three simple
facts appear so plain that even the mere historian may venture to
set them forth. When we look into the statistics which seem to
show a general increase of business during the war, we find that
in point of fact this increase was highly specialized. All those
industries that dealt with the physical necessities of life and
all those that dealt peculiarly with armies flourished amazingly.
And yet there is another side to the story, for there were other
industries that were set back and some that almost, if not
entirely, disappeared. A good instance is the manufacture of
cotton cloth. When the war opened, 200,000 hands were employed
in this manufacture in New England. With the sealing up of the
South and the failure of the cotton supply, their work
temporarily ceased. What became of the workmen? Briefly, one of
three things happened: some went into other trades, such as
munitions, in which the war had created an abnormal demand for
labor; a great number of them became soldiers; and many of them
went West and became farmers or miners. Furthermore, many whose
trades were not injured by the war left their jobs and fled
westward to escape conscription. Their places were left open to
be filled by operatives from the injured trades. In one or
another of these ways the laborer who was thrown out of work was
generally able to recover employment. But it is important to
remember that the key to the labor situation at that time was the
vast area of unoccupied land which could be had for nothing or
next to nothing. This fact is brought home by a comparison of
the situation of the American with that of the English workman
during the cotton famine. According to its own ideas England was
then fully cultivated. There was no body of land waiting to be
thrown open, as an emergency device, to a host of new-made
agriculturists. When the cotton-mills stopped at Manchester,
their operatives had practically no openings but in other
industrial occupations. As such opportunities were lacking, they
became objects of charity until they could resume their work. As
a country with a great reserve of unoccupied land, the United
States was singularly fortunate at this economic crisis.

One of the noteworthy features of Northern life during the war is
that there was no abnormal increase in pauperism. A great deal
has been written upon the extensive charities of the time, but
the term is wrongly applied, for what is really referred to is
the volunteer aid given to the Government in supporting the
armies. This was done on a vast scale, by all classes of the
population--that is, by all who supported the Union party, for
the separation between the two parties was bitter and
unforgiving. But of charity in the ordinary sense of the care of
the destitute there was no significant increase because there was
no peculiar need. Here again the fact that the free land could
be easily reached is the final explanation. There was no need
for the unemployed workman to become a pauper. He could take
advantage of the Homestead Act*, which was passed in 1862, and
acquire a farm of 160 acres free; or he could secure at almost
nominal cost farm-land which had been given to railways as an
inducement to build. Under the Homestead Act, the Government gave
away land amounting to 2,400,000 acres before the close of the
war. The Illinois Central alone sold to actual settlers 221,000
acres in 1863 and 264,000 in 1864. It was during the war, too,
that the great undertaking of the transcontinental railway was
begun, partly for military and partly for commercial reasons. In
this project, both as a field of labor and as a stimulus to
Western settlement, there is also to be found one more device for
the relief of the labor situation in the East.

*This Act, which may be regarded as the culmination of the long
battle of the Northern dreamers to win "land for the landless,"
provided that every settler who was, or intended to be, a citizen
might secure 180 acres of government land by living on it and
cultivating it for five years.

There is no more important phenomenon of the time than the
shifting of large masses of population from the East to the West,
while the war was in progress. This fact begins to indicate why
there was no shortage in the agricultural output. The North
suffered acutely from inflation of prices and from a speculative
wildness that accompanied the inflation, but it did not suffer
from a lack of those things that are produced by the soil--food,
timber, metals, and coal. In addition to the reason just
mentioned--the search for new occupation by Eastern labor which
had been thrown out of employment--three other causes helped to
maintain the efficiency of work in the mines, in the forests, and
on the farms. These three factors were immigration, the labor of
women, and labor-saving machines.

Immigration, naturally, fell off to a certain degree but it did
not become altogether negligible. It is probable that 110,000
able-bodied men came into the country while war was in
progress--a poor offset to the many hundred thousand who became
soldiers, but nevertheless a contribution that counted for

Vastly more important, in the work of the North, was the part
taken by women. A pathetic detail with which in our own
experience the world has again become familiar was the absence of
young men throughout most of the North, and the presence of women
new to the work in many occupations, especially farming. A
single quotation from a home missionary in Iowa tells the whole

"I will mention that I met more women driving teams on the road
and saw more at work in the fields than men. They seem to have
said to their husbands in the language of a favorite song,

'Just take your gun and go;
For Ruth can drive the oxen, John,
And I can use the hoe!'

"I went first to Clarinda, and the town seemed deserted. Upon
inquiry for former friends, the frequent answer was, "In the
army." From Hawleyville almost all the thoroughly loyal male
inhabitants had gone; and in one township beyond, where I
formerly preached, there are but seven men left, and at Quincy,
the county seat of Adams County, but five."

Even more important than the change in the personnel of labor
were the new machines of the day. During the fifteen years
previous to the war American ingenuity had reached a high point.
Such inventions as the sewing machine and the horse-reaper date
in their practical forms from that period, and both of these
helped the North to fight the war. Their further improvement,
and the extension of the principles involved to many new forms of
machinery, sprang from the pressing need to make up for the loss
of men who were drained by the army from the farms and the
workshops. It was the horse-reaper, the horse-rake, the
horse-thresher that enabled women and boys to work the farms
while husbands, fathers, and elder brothers were at the front.

All these causes maintained Northern farming at a high pitch of
productivity. This efficiency is implied in some of the figures
already quoted, but many others could be cited. For example, in
1859, the total production of wheat for the whole country was 173
million bushels; in 1862, the North alone produced 177 millions;
even in 1864, with over a million men under arms, it still
produced 160 million bushels.

It must be remembered that the great Northern army produced
nothing while it consumed the products of agriculture and
manufacture--food, clothing, arms, ammunition, cannon, wagons,
horses, medical stores--at a rate that might have led a poetical
person to imagine the army as a devouring dragon. Who, in the
last analysis, provided all these supplies? Who paid the
soldiers? Who supplemented their meager pay and supported their
families? The people, of course; and they did so both directly
and indirectly. In taxes and loans they paid to the Government
about three thousand millions of dollars. Their indirect
assistance was perhaps as great, though it is impossible today to
estimate with any approach to accuracy the amount either in money
or service. Among obvious items are the collections made by the
Sanitary Commission for the benefit of the hospital service,
amounting to twenty-five million dollars, and about six millions
raised by the Christian Commission. In a hundred other ways both
individuals and localities strained their resources to supplement
those of the Government. Immense subscription lists were
circulated to raise funds for the families of soldiers. The city
of Philadelphia alone spent in this way in a single year
$600,000. There is also evidence of a vast amount of unrecorded
relief of needy families by the neighbors, and in the farming
districts, such assistance, particularly in the form of fuel
during winter, was very generally given.

What made possible this enormous total of contributions was, in a
word, the general willingness of those supporting the war to
forego luxuries. They ceased buying a great multitude of
unnecessary things. But what became of the labor that had
previously supplied the demand for luxuries? A part of it went
the way of all other Northern labor--into new trades, into the
army, or to the West--and a part continued to manufacture
luxuries: for their market, though curtailed, was not destroyed.
There were, indeed, two populations in the North, and they were
separated by an emotional chasm. Had all the North been a unit
in feeling, the production of articles of luxury might have
ceased. Because of this emotional division of the North,
however, this business survived; for the sacrifice of luxurious
expenditure was made by only a part of the population, even
though it was the majority.

Furthermore, the whole matter was adjusted voluntarily without
systematic government direction, since there was nothing in the
financial policy of the Government to correspond to conscription.
Consequently, both in the way of loans and in the way of
contributions, as well as in the matter of unpaid service, the
entire burden fell upon the war party alone. In the absence of
anything like economic conscription, if such a phrase may be
used, those Northerners who did not wish to lend money, or to
make financial sacrifice, or to give unpaid service, were free to
pursue their own bent. The election of 1864 showed that they
formed a market which amounted to something between six and nine
millions. There is no reason to suppose that these millions in
1864 spent less on luxuries than they did in 1860. Two or three
items are enough. In 1860, the importation of silk amounted to
32 million dollars; in 1862, in spite of inflated prices, it had
shrunk to 7 millions; the consumption of malt liquors shrank from
101 million gallons in 1860 to 62 million gallons in 1863; of
coffee, hardly to be classed as a luxury, there were consumed in
1861, 184 million pounds and in 1863, 80 millions.

The clue to the story of capital is to be found in this fact, too
often forgotten, that there was an economic-political division
cutting deep through every stratum of the Northern people. Their
economic life as well as their political life was controlled on
the one hand by a devotion to the cause of the war, and on the
other hand by a hatred of that cause or by cynical indifference.
And we cannot insist too positively that the Government failed
very largely to take this fact into account. The American spirit
of invention, so conspicuous at that time in mechanics, did not
apply itself to the science of government. Lincoln confessedly
was not a financier; his instinct was at home only in problems
that could be stated in terms of men. Witness his acceptance of
conscription and his firmness in carrying it through, as a result
of which he saved the patriotic party from bearing the whole
burden of military service. But there was no parallel
conservation of power in the field of industry. The financial
policy, left in the hands of Chase, may truly be described as
barren of ideas. Incidentally, it may be mentioned that the
"loyal" North was left at the mercy of its domestic enemies and a
prey to parasites by Chase's policy of loans instead of taxes and
of voluntary support instead of enforced support.

The consequence of this financial policy was an immense
opportunity for the "disloyally" and the parasites to make huge
war profits out of the "loyals" and the Government. Of course,
it must not be supposed that everyone who seized the chance to
feather his nest was so careless or so impolitic as to let
himself be classed as a "disloyal." An incident of the autumn of
1861 shows the temper of those professed "loyals" who were really
parasites. The background of the incident is supplied by a
report of the Quartermaster-General:

"Governors daily complain that recruiting will stop unless
clothing is sent in abundance and immediately to the various
recruiting camps and regiments. With every exertion, this
department has not been able to obtain clothing to supply these
demands, and they have been so urgent that troops before the
enemy have been compelled to do picket duty in the late cold
nights without overcoats, or even coats, wearing only thin summer
flannel blouses.... Could 150,000 suits of clothing, overcoats,
coats, and pantaloons be placed today, in depot, it would scarce
supply the calls now before us. They would certainly leave no

The Government attempted to meet this difficulty in the shortest
possible time by purchasing clothing abroad. But such disregard
of home industry, the "patriotism" of the New England
manufacturers could not endure. Along with the report just
quoted, the Quartermaster-General forwarded to the Secretary of
War a long argumentative protest from a committee of the Boston
Board of Trade against the purchase of army clothing in Europe.
Any American of the present day can guess how the protest was
worded and what arguments were used. Stripped of its
insincerity, it signified this: the cotton mills were inoperative
for lack of material; their owners saw no chance to save their
dividends except by requipment as woolen mills; the existing
woolen mills also saw a great chance to force wool upon the
market as a substitute for cotton. In Ohio, California,
Pennsylvania, and Illinois, the growers of wool saw the
opportunity with equal clearness. But, one and all, these
various groups of parasites saw that their game hinged on one
condition: the munitions market must be kept open until they were
ready to monopolize government contracts. If soldiers contracted
pneumonia doing picket duty on cold nights, in their summer
blouses, that was but an unfortunate incident of war.

Very different in spirit from the protest of the Boston
manufacturers is a dispatch from the American minister at
Brussels which shows what American public servants, in contrast
with American manufacturers, were about. Abroad the agents of
North and South were fighting a commercial duel in which each
strove to monopolize the munitions market. The United States
Navy, seeing things from an angle entirely different from that of
the Boston Board of Trade, ably seconded the ministers by
blockading the Southern ports and by thus preventing the movement
of specie and cotton to Europe. As a consequence, fourmonth
notes which had been given by Southern agents with their orders
fell due, had to be renewed, and began to be held in disfavor.
Agents of the North, getting wind of these hitches in
negotiations, eagerly sought to take over the unpaid Confederate
orders. All these details of the situation help to explain the
jubilant tone of this dispatch from Brussels late in November,

"I have now in my hands complete control of the principal rebel
contracts on the continent, viz.: 206,000 yards of cloth ready
for delivery, already commencing to move forward to Havre; gray
but can be dyed blue in twenty days; 100,000 yards deliverable
from 15th of December to 26th of January, light blue army cloth,
same as ours; 100,000 blankets; 40,000 guns to be shipped in ten
days; 20,000 saber bayonets to be delivered in six weeks.... The
winter clothing for 100,000 men taken out of their hands, when
they cannot replace it, would almost compensate for Bull Run.
There is no considerable amount of cloth to be had in Europe; the
stocks are very short."

The Secretary of War was as devoid of ideas as the Secretary of
the Treasury was and even less equipped with resisting power.
Though he could not undo the work already done by the agents of
the Government abroad, he gave way as rapidly as possible to the
allied parasites whose headquarters, at the moment, were in
Boston. The story grows uglier as we proceed. Two powerful
commercial combinations took charge of the policy of the woolen
interests--the National Woolgrowers' Association and the National
Association of Wool Manufacturers, which were soon in control of
this immense industry. Woolen mills sprang up so fast that a
report of the New York Chamber of Commerce pronounced their
increase "scarcely credible." So great was the new market
created by the Government demand, and so ruthless were the
parasites in forcing up prices, that dividends on mill stock rose
to 10, 15, 25, and even 40 per cent. And all the while the wool
growers and the wool manufacturers were clamoring to Congress for
protection of the home industry, exclusion of the wicked foreign
competition, and all in the name of their devoted
"patriotism"--patriotism with a dividend of 40 per cent!

Of course, it is not meant that every wool grower and every
woolen manufacturer was either a "disloyal" or a parasite. By no
means. Numbers of them were to be found in that great host of
"loyals" who put their dividends into government bonds and gave
their services unpaid as auxiliaries of the Commissary Department
or the Hospital Service of the Army. What is meant is that the
abnormal conditions of industry, uncorrected by the Government,
afforded a glaring opportunity for unscrupulous men of business
who, whatever their professions, cared a hundred times more for
themselves than for their country. To these was due the pitiless
hampering of the army in the interest of the wool-trade. For
example, many uniforms paid for at outrageous prices, turned out
to be made of a miserable cheap fabric, called "shoddy," which
resisted weather scarcely better than paper. This fraud gave the
word "shoddy" its present significance in our American speech and
produced the phrase--applied to manufacturers newly become
rich--"shoddy aristocracy." An even more shameful result of the
selfishness of the manufacturers and of the weakness of the
Government was the use of cloth for uniforms not of the
regulation colors, with the result that soldiers sometimes fired
upon their comrades by mistake.

The prosperity of the capitalists who financed the woolen
business did not extend to the labor employed in it. One of the
ugliest details of the time was the resolute attempt of the
parasites to seize the whole amount of the abnormal profits they
wrung from the Government and from the people. For it must not
be forgotten that the whole nation had to pay their prices. It
is estimated that prices in the main advanced about 100 per cent
while wages were not advanced more than sixty per cent. It is
not strange that these years of war form a period of bitter
antagonism between labor and capital.

What went on in the woolen business is to be found more or less
in every business. Immense fortunes sprang up over night. They
had but two roots: government contracts and excessive profits due
to war prices. The gigantic fortunes which characterized the
North at the end of the war are thus accounted for. The
so-called prosperity of the time was a class prosperity and was
absorbed by parasites who fattened upon the necessities of the
Government and the sacrifices of the people.


That French demagogue whom Victor Hugo aptly called Napoleon the
Little was a prime factor in the history of the Union and the
Confederacy. The Confederate side of his intrigue will be told
in its proper place. Here, let us observe him from the point of
view of Washington.

It is too much to attempt to pack into a sentence or two the
complicated drama of deceit, lies, and graft, through which he
created at last a pretext for intervention in the affairs of
Mexico; it is enough that in the autumn of 1862 a French army of
invasion marched from Vera Cruz upon Mexico City. We have
already seen that about this same time Napoleon proposed to
England and Russia a joint intervention with France between North
and South--a proposal which, however, was rejected. This Mexican
venture explains why the plan was suggested at that particular

Disappointed in England and Russia, Napoleon unexpectedly
received encouragement, as he thought, from within the United
States through the medium of the eccentric editor of the "New
York Tribune". We shall have occasion to return later to the
adventures of Horace Greeley--that erratic individual who has
many good and generous acts to his credit, as well as many
foolish ones. For the present we have to note that toward the
close of 1862 he approached the French Ambassador at Washington
with a request for imperial mediation between the North and the
South. Greeley was a type of American that no European can
understand: he believed in talk, and more talk, and still more
talk, as the cure for earthly ills. He never could understand
that anybody besides himself could have strong convictions. When
he told the Ambassador that the Emperor's mediation would lead to
a reconciliation of the sections, he was doubtless sincere in
his belief. The astute European diplomat, who could not believe
such simplicity, thought it a mask. When he asked for, and
received, permission to pass the Federal lines and visit
Richmond, he interpreted the permit in the light of his
assumption about Greeley. At Richmond, he found no desire for
reunion. Putting this and that together, he concluded that the
North wanted to give up the fight and would welcome mediation to
save its face. The dreadful defeat at Fredericksburg fell in
with this reasoning. His reports on American conditions led
Napoleon, in January, 1863, to attempt alone what he had once
hoped to do supported by England and Russia. He proposed his good
offices to the Government at Washington as a mediator between
North and South.

Hitherto, Washington had been very discreet about Mexico. Adroit
hints not to go too far had been given Napoleon in full measure,
but there was no real protest. The State Department now
continued this caution and in the most polite terms declined
Napoleon's offer. Congress, however, took the matter more
grimly, for throughout the dealings with Napoleon, it had been at
odds with Lincoln. It now passed the first of a series of
resolutions which expressed the will of the country, if not quite
the will of the President, by resolving that any further proposal
of mediation would be regarded by it as "an unfriendly act."

Napoleon then resumed his scheming for joint intervention, while
in the meantime his armies continued to fight their way until
they entered Mexico City in June, 1863. The time had now come
when Napoleon thought it opportune to show his hand. Those were
the days when Lee appeared invincible, and when Chancellorsville
crowned a splendid series of triumphs. In England, the Southern
party made a fresh start; and societies were organized to aid the
Confederacy. At Liverpool, Laird Brothers were building,
ostensibly for France, really for the Confederacy, two ironclads
supposed to outclass every ship in the Northern navy. In France,
100,000 unemployed cotton hands were rioting for food. To raise
funds for the Confederacy the great Erlanger banking-house of
Paris negotiated a loan based on cotton which was to be delivered
after the breaking of the blockade. Napoleon dreamed of a
shattered American union, two enfeebled republics, and a broad
way for his own scheme in Mexico.

In June an English politician of Southern sympathies, Edward
Roebuck, went over to France, was received by the Emperor, and
came to an understanding with him. Roebuck went home to report
to the Southern party that Napoleon was ready to intervene, and
that all he waited for was England's cooperation. A motion "to
enter into negotiations with the Great Powers of Europe for the
purpose of obtaining their cooperation in the recognition" of the
Confederacy was introduced by Roebuck in the House of Commons.

The debate which followed was the last chance of the Southern
party and, as events proved, the last chance of Napoleon. How
completely the British ministry was now committed to the North
appears in the fact that Gladstone, for the Government, opposed
Roebuck's motion. John Bright attacked it in what Lord Morley
calls "perhaps the most powerful and the noblest speech of his
life." The Southern party was hardly resolute in their support
of Roebuck and presently he withdrew his motion.

But there were still the ironclads at Liverpool. We have seen
that earlier in the war, the carelessness of the British
authorities had permitted the escape of ship 290, subsequently
known as the Confederate commercedestroyer, Alabama. The
authorities did not wish to allow a repetition of the incident.
But could it be shown that the Laird ships were not really for a
French purchaser? It was in the course of diplomatic
conversations that Mr. Adams, speaking of the possible sailing of
the ships, made a remark destined to become famous: "It would be
superfluous in me to point out to your lordship that this is
war." At jest, the authorities were satisfied. The ships were
seized and in the end bought for the British Navy.

Again Napoleon stood alone. Not only had he failed to obtain aid
from abroad, but in France itself his Mexican schemes were widely
and bitterly condemned. Yet he had gone too far to recede, and
what he had been aiming at all along was now revealed. An
assembly of Mexican notables, convened by the general of the
invaders, voted to set up an imperial government and offered the
crown to Napoleon's nominee, the Archduke Maximilian of Austria.

And now the Government at Washington was faced with a complicated
problem. What about the Monroe Doctrine? Did the Union dare
risk war with France? Did it dare pass over without protest the
establishment of monarchy on American soil by foreign arms?
Between these horns of a dilemma, the Government maintained its
precarious position during another year. Seward's correspondence
with Paris was a masterpiece of evasion. He neither protested
against the intervention of Napoleon nor acknowledged the
authority of Maximilian. Apparently, both he and Lincoln were
divided between fear of a French alliance with the Confederacy
and fear of premature action in the North that would render
Napoleon desperate. Just how far they comprehended Napoleon and
his problems is an open question.

Whether really comprehending or merely trusting to its instinct,
Congress took a bolder course. Two men prove the antagonists of
a parliamentary duel--Charles Sumner, chairman of the Senate
Committee on Foreign Relations, and Henry Winter Davis, chairman
of the corresponding committee of the House. Sumner played the
hand of the Administration. Fiery resolutions demanding the
evacuation of Mexico or an American declaration of war were
skillfully buried in the silence of Sumner's committee. But
there was nevertheless one resolution that affected history: it
was a ringing condemnation of the attempt to establish a monarchy
in Mexico. In the House, a joint resolution which Davis
submitted was passed without one dissenting vote. When it came
to the Senate, Sumner buried it as he had buried earlier
resolutions. None the less it went out to the world attended by
the news of the unanimous vote in the House.

Shortly afterwards, the American Ambassador at Paris called upon
the imperial Foreign Secretary, M. Drouyn de L'huys. News of
this resolution had preceded him. He was met by the curt
question, "Do you bring peace or war?" Again, the Washington
Government was skillfully evasive. The Ambassador was instructed
to explain that the resolution had not been inspired by the
President and "the French Government would be seasonably apprized
of any change of policy...which the President might at any future
time think it proper to adopt."

There seems little doubt that Lincoln's course was very widely
condemned as timid. When we come to the political campaign of
1864, we shall meet Henry Winter Davis among his most relentless
personal enemies. Dissatisfaction with Lincoln's Mexican policy
has not been sufficiently considered in accounting for the
opposition to him, inside the war party, in 1864. To it may be
traced an article in the platform of the war party, adopted in
June, 1864, protesting against the establishment of monarchy "in
near proximity to the United States." In the same month
Maximilian entered Mexico City.

The subsequent moves of Napoleon are explained elsewhere.* The
central fact in the story is his virtual change of attitude, in
the summer of 1864. The Confederate agent at Paris complained of
a growing coolness. Before the end of the summer, the Confederate
Secretary of State was bitter in his denunciation of Napoleon for
having deserted the South. Napoleon's puppet Maximilian refused
to receive an envoy from the Confederacy. Though Washington did
not formally protest against the presence of Maximilian in
Mexico, it declined to recognize his Government, and that
Government continued unrecognized at Washington throughout the

*Nathaniel W. Stephenson, "The Day of the Confederacy". (In "The
Chronicles of America").


Every great revolution among Anglo-Saxon people--perhaps among
all people--has produced strange types of dreamers. In America,
however, neither section could claim a monopoly of such types,
and even the latter-day visionaries who can see everything in
heaven and earth, excepting fact, had their Northern and Southern
originals in the time of the great American war. Among these is
a strange congregation which assembled in the spring of 1864 and
which has come to be known, from its place of meeting, as the
Cleveland Convention. Its coming together was the result of a
loose cooperation among several minor political groups, all of
which were for the Union and the war, and violently opposed to
Lincoln. So far as they had a common purpose, it was to supplant
Lincoln by Fremont in the next election.

The Convention was notable for the large proportion of agnostics
among its members. A motion was made to amend a resolution that
"the Rebellion must be put down" by adding the words "with God's
assistance." This touch of piety was stormily rejected. Another
group represented at Cleveland was made up of extreme
abolitionists under the leadership of that brilliant but
disordered genius, Wendell Phillips. He sent a letter denouncing
Lincoln and pledging his support of Fremont because of the
latter's "clearsighted statesmanship and rare military ability."
The convention declared itself a political party, under the style
of the Radical Democracy, and nominated Fremont for President.

There was another body of dreamers, still more singular, who were
also bitter opponents of Lincoln. They were, however, not in
favor of war. Their political machinery consisted of secret
societies. As early as 1860, the Knights of the Golden Circle
were active in Indiana, where they did yeoman service for
Breckinridge. Later this society acquired some underground
influence in other States, especially in Ohio, and did its share
in bringing about the victories at the polls in the autumn of
1862, when the Democrats captured the Indiana legislature.

The most serious charge against the Golden Circle was complicity
in an attempt to assassinate Oliver P. Morton, Governor of
Indiana, who was fired at, one night, as he was leaving the state
house. When Morton demanded an investigation of the Golden
Circle, the legislature refused to sanction it. On his own
authority and with Federal aid he made investigations and
published a report which, if it did not actually prove treason,
came dangerously near to proof. Thereafter, this society drops
out of sight, and its members appear to have formed the new Order
of the American Knights, which in its turn was eclipsed by the
Sons of Liberty. There were several other such societies all
organized on a military plan and with a great pretense of arming
their members. This, however, had to be done surreptitiously.
Boxes of rifles purchased in the East were shipped West labeled
"Sunday-school books," and negotiations were even undertaken with
the Confederacy to bring in arms by way of Canada. At a meeting
of the supreme council of the Sons of Liberty, in New York,
February 22, 1864, it was claimed that the order had nearly a
million members, though the Government secret service considered
half a million a more exact estimate.

As events subsequently proved, the societies were not as
formidable as these figures would imply. Most of the men who
joined them seem to have been fanciful creatures who loved
secrecy for its own sake. While real men, North and South, were
laying down their lives for their principles, these make-believe
men were holding bombastic initiations and taking oaths such as
this from the ritual of the American Knights: "I do further
solemnly promise and swear, that I will ever cherish the sublime
lessons which the sacred emblems of our order suggest, and will,
so far as in me lies, impart those lessons to the people of the
earth, where the mystic acorn falls from its parent bough, in
whose visible firmament Orion, Arcturus, and the Pleiades ride in
their cold resplendent glories, and where the Southern Cross
dazzles the eye of degraded humanity with its coruscations of
golden light, fit emblem of Truth, while it invites our sacred
order to consecrate her temples in the four corners of the earth,
where moral darkness reigns and despotism holds sway.... Divine
essence, so help me that I fail not in my troth, lest I shall be
summoned before the tribunal of the order, adjudged and condemned
to certain and shameful death, while my name shall be recorded on
the rolls of infamy. Amen."

The secret orders fought hard to prevent the Lincoln victory in
the elections of 1863. Even before that time their leaders had
talked mysteriously of another disruption of the Union and the
formation of a Northwestern Confederacy in alliance with the
South. The scheme was known to the Confederates, allusions to it
are to be found in Southern newspapers, and even the Confederate
military authorities considered it. Early in 1863, General
Beauregard thought the Confederates might "get into Ohio and call
upon the friends of Vallandigham to rise for his defense and
support; then...call upon the whole Northwest to join in the
movement, form a confederacy of their own, and join us by a
treaty of alliance, offensive and defensive." Reliance on the
support of the societies was the will-o'-the-wisp that deceived
General John Morgan in his desperate attempt to carry out
Beauregard's programme. Though brushed aside as a mere detail by
military historians, Morgan's raid, with his force of irregular
cavalry, in July, 1863, through Indiana and Ohio, was one of the
most romantic episodes of the war. But it ended in his defeat
and capture. While his gallant troopers rode to their
destruction, the men who loved to swear by Arcturus and to gabble
about the Pleiades showed the fiber to be expected of such
people, and stayed snug in their beds.

But neither their own lack of hardihood nor the disasters of
their Southern friends could dampen their peculiar ardor. Their
hero was Vallandigham. That redoubtable person had fixed his
headquarters in Canada, whence he directed his partisans in their
vain attempt to elect him Governor of Ohio. Their next move was
to honor him with the office of Supreme Commander of the Sons of
Liberty, and now Vallandigham resolved to win the martyr's crown
in very fact. In June, 1864, he prepared for the dramatic effect
by carefully advertising his intention and came home. But to his
great disappointment Lincoln ignored him, and the dramatic
martyrdom which he had planned did not come off.

There still existed the possibility of a great uprising, and to
that end arrangements were made with Southern agents in Canada.
Confederate soldiers, picked men, made their way in disguise to
Chicago. There the worshipers of Arcturus were to join them in a
mighty multitude; the Confederate prisoners at Camp Douglas in
Chicago were to be liberated; around that core of veterans, the
hosts of the Pleiades were to rally. All this was to coincide
with the assembling at Chicago of the Democratic national
convention, in which Vallandigham was to appear. The organizers
of the conspiracy dreamed that the two events might coalesce;
that the convention might be stampeded by their uprising; that a
great part, if not the whole, of the convention would endorse the
establishment of a Northwestern Confederacy.

Alas for him who builds on the frame of mind that delights in
cheap rhetoric while Rome is afire! At the moment of hazard, the
Sons of Liberty showed the white feather, were full of specious
words, would not act. The Confederate soldiers, indignant at
this second betrayal, had to make their escape from the country.

It must not be supposed that this Democratic national convention
was made up altogether of Secessionists. The peace party was
still, as in the previous year, a strange complex, a mixture of
all sorts and conditions. Its cohesion was not so much due to
its love of peace as to its dislike of Lincoln and its hatred of
his party. Vallandigham was a member of the committee on
resolutions. The permanent chairman was Governor Seymour of New
York. The Convention was called to order by August Belmont, a
foreigner by birth, the American representative of the
Rothschilds. He was the head and front of that body of Northern
capital which had so long financed the South and which had always
opposed the war. In opening the Convention he said: "Four years
of misrule by a sectional, fanatical, and corrupt party have
brought our country to the verge of ruin." In the platform
Lincoln was accused of a list of crimes which it had become the
habit of the peace party to charge against him. His
administration was described as "four years of failure," and
McClellan was nominated for President.

The Republican managers called a convention at Baltimore in June,
1864, with a view to organizing a composite Union Party in which
the War Democrats were to participate. Their plan was
successful. The second place on the Union ticket was accepted by
a War Democrat, Andrew Johnson, of Tennessee. Lincoln was
renominated, though not without opposition, and he was so keenly
aware that he was not the unanimous choice of the Union Party
that he permitted the fact to appear in a public utterance soon
afterward. "I do not allow myself," he said, in addressing a
delegation of the National Union League, "to suppose that either
the Convention or the League have concluded to decide that I am
either the greatest or the best man in America, but rather they
have concluded it is not best to swap horses while crossing the
river, and have further concluded that I am not so poor a horse
that they might not make a botch of it in trying to swap."

But the Union Party was so far from being a unit that during the
summer factional quarrels developed within its ranks. All the
elements that were unfriendly to Lincoln took heart from a
dispute betweenthe President and Congress with regard to
reconstruction in Louisiana, over a large part of which Federal
troops had established a civil government on the President's
authority. As an incident in the history of reconstruction, this
whole matter has its place in another volume.* But it also has a
place in the history of the presidential campaign of 1864.
Lincoln's plan of reconstruction was obnoxious to the Radicals in
Congress inasmuch as it did not definitely abolish slavery in
Louisiana, although it required the new Government to give its
adherence to the Emancipation Proclamation. Congress passed a
bill taking reconstruction out of the President's hands and
definitely requiring the reconstructed States to abolish slavery.
Lincoln took the position that Congress had no power over slavery
in the States. When his Proclamation was thrown in his teeth, he
replied, "I conceive that I may in an emergency do things on
military grounds which cannot be done constitutionally by
Congress." Incidentally there was a further disagreement between
the President and the Radicals over negro suffrage. Though
neither scheme provided for it, Lincoln would extend it, if at
all, only to the exceptional negroes, while the Radicals were
ready for a sweeping extension. But Lincoln refused to sign
their bill and it lapsed. Thereupon Benjamin Wade of Ohio and
Henry Winter Davis of Maryland issued a savage denunciation of
Lincoln which has been known ever since as the "Wade-Davis

* Walter L. Fleming, "The Sequel of Appomattox". In "The
Chronicles of America".

There was a faction in the Union Party which we may justly name
the Vindictives. The "Manifesto" gave them a rallying cry. At a
conference in New York they decided to compel the retirement of
Lincoln and the nomination of some other candidate. For this
purpose a new convention was to be called at Cincinnati in
September. In the ranks of the Vindictives at this time was the
impetuous editor of the "New York Tribune", Horace Greeley. His
presence there calls for some explanation. Perhaps the most
singular figure of the time, he was one of the most irresponsible
and yet, through his paper, one of the most influential. He had
a trick of phrase which, somehow, made him appear oracular to the
plain people, especially in the rural districts--the very people
on whom Lincoln relied for a large part of his support. Greeley
knew his power, and his mind was not large enough to carry the
knowledge well. Furthermore, his was the sort of nature that
relates itself to life above all through the sensibilities.
Kipling speaks scornfully of people who if their "own front door
is shut will swear the world is warm." They are relations in the
full blood of Horace Greeley.

In July, when the breach between the President and the
Vindictives was just beginning to be evident, Greeley was
pursuing an adventure of his own. Among the least sensible minor
incidents of the war were a number of fantastic attempts of
private persons to negotiate peace. With one exception they had
no historic importance. The exception is a negotiation carried
on by Greeley, which seems to have been the ultimate cause of his
alliance with the Vindictives.

In the middle of July, 1864, gold was selling in New York at 285.
There was distress and discontent throughout the country. The
horrible slaughter of the Wilderness, still fresh in everybody's
mind, had put the whole Union Party into mourning. The
impressionable Greeley became frantic for peace peace at any
price. At the psychological moment word was conveyed to him that
two persons in Canada held authority from the Confederacy to
enter into negotiations for peace. Greeley wrote to Lincoln
demanding negotiations because "our bleeding, bankrupt, almost
dying country longs for peace, shudders at the prospect of fresh
conscriptions, of further wholesale devastations, and of new
rivers of human blood."

Lincoln consented to a negotiation but stipulated that Greeley
himself should become responsible for its conduct. Though this
was not what Greeley wanted for his type always prefers to tell
others what to do--he sullenly accepted. He proceeded to Niagara
to meet the reputed commissioners of the Confederacy. The
details of the futile conference do not concern us. The
Confederate agents were not empowered to treat for peace--at
least not on any terms that would be considered at Washington.
Their real purpose was far subtler. Appreciating the delicate
balance in Northern politics, they aimed at making it appear that
Lincoln was begging for terms. Lincoln, who foresaw this
possible turn of events, had expressly limited Greeley to
negotiations for "the integrity of the whole Union and the
abandonment of slavery." Greeley chose to believe that these
instructions, and not the subtlety of the Confederate agents and
his own impulsiveness, were the cause of the false position in
which the agents now placed him. They published an account of
the episode, thus effecting an exposure which led to sharp
attacks upon Greeley by the Northern press. In the bitterness of
his mortification Greeley then went from one extreme to the other
and joined the Vindictives.

Less than three weeks after the conference at Niagara, the
"Wade-Davis Manifesto" appeared. It was communicated to the
country through the columns of Greeley's paper on the 5th of
August. Greeley, who so short a time before was for peace at any
price, went the whole length of reaction by proclaiming that "Mr.
Lincoln is already beaten.... We must have another ticket to
save us from utter overthrow. If we had such a ticket as could
be made by naming Grant, Butler, or Sherman for President and
Farragut for Vice, we could make a fight yet."

At about this same time the chairman of the Republican national
committee, who was a Lincoln man, wrote to the President that the
situation was desperate. Lincoln himself is known to have made a
private memorandum containing the words, "It seems extremely
probable that this Administration will not be reelected." On the
1st of September, 1864, with three presidential candidates in the
field, Northern politics were bewildering, and the country was
shrouded in the deepest gloom. The Wilderness campaign, after
slaughter unparalleled, had not in the popular mind achieved
results. Sherman, in Georgia, though his losses were not as
terrible as Grant's, had not yet done anything to lighten the
gloom. Not even Farragut's victory in Mobile Bay, in August,
far-reaching as it proved to be, reassured the North. A bitter
cry for peace went up even from lovers of the Union whose hearts
had failed.

Meanwhile, the brilliant strategist in Georgia was pressing his
drive for political as well as for military effect. To rouse
those Unionists who had lost heart was part of his purpose when
he hurled his columns against Atlanta, from which Hood was driven
in one of the most disastrous of Confederate defeats. On the 3rd
of September Lincoln issued a proclamation appointing a day of
thanksgiving for these great victories of Sherman and Farragut.

On that day, it would seem, the tide turned in Northern politics.
Some historians are content with Atlanta as the explanation of
all that followed; but there are three separate events of
importance that now occurred as incidents in the complicated
situation. In the first place, three weeks later the radical
opposition had collapsed; the plan for a new convention was
abandoned; the Vindictive leaders came out in support of Lincoln.
Almost simultaneously occurred the remaining two surprising
events. Fremont withdrew from his candidacy in order to do his
"part toward preventing the election of the Democratic
candidate." And Lincoln asked for the resignation of a member of
his Cabinet, Postmaster-General Montgomery Blair, who was the
especial enemy of the Vindictives.

The official biographers of Lincoln* keep these three events
separate. They hold that Blair's removal was wholly Lincoln's
idea, and that from chivalrous reasons he would not abandon his
friend as long as he seemed to be losing the game. The historian
Rhodes writes confidently of a bargain with Fremont, holding that
Blair was removed to terminate a quarrel with Fremont which dated
back even to his own removal in 1861. A possible third theory
turns upon Chase, whose hostility to Blair was quite equal to
that of the illbalanced Fremont. It had been stimulated the
previous winter by a fierce arraignment of Chase made by Blair's
brother in Congress, in which Chase was bluntly accused of fraud
and of making money, or allowing his friends to make money,
through illicit trade in cotton. And Chase was a man of might
among the Vindictives. The intrigue, however, never comes to the
foreground in history, but lurks in the background thick with
shadows. Once or twice among those shadows we seem to catch a
glimpse of the figure of Thurlow Weed, the master-politician of
the time. Taking one thing with another, we may risk the guess
that somehow the two radical groups which were both relentless
against Blair were led to pool their issues, and that Blair's
removal was the price Lincoln paid not to one faction of radicals
but to the whole unmerciful crowd.

*His private secretaries, John G. Nicolay and John Hay.

Whatever complex of purposes lay back of the triple coincidence,
the latter part of September saw a general reunion of the
factions within the Union Party, followed by a swift recovery of
strength. When the election came, Lincoln received an electoral
vote of 212 against 21, and a popular vote of 2,330,552 against

The inevitable question arises as to what was the real cause of
this success. It is safe to say that the political campaign
contained some adroit strategy; that Sherman was without doubt an
enormous factor; that the Democrats made numerous blunders; and
that the secret societies had an effect other than they intended.
However, the real clue seems to be found in one sentence from a
letter written by Lowell to Motley when the outlook for his party
was darkest: "The mercantile classes are longing for peace, but I
believe that the people are more firm than ever." Of the great,
silent mass of the people, the true temper seems to be struck off
in a popular poem of the time, written in response to one of the
calls for more troops, a poem with refrains built on the model of
this couplet:

"We're coming from the hillside, we're coming from the shore,
We're coming, Father Abraham, six hundred thousand more."


The victory of the Union Party in November enabled Lincoln to
enjoy for a brief period of his career as President what may be
thought of as a lull in the storm. He knew now that he had at
last built up a firm and powerful support. With this assured,
his policy, both domestic and foreign--the key to which was still
the blockade--might be considered victorious at all points.
There remains to be noticed, however, one event of the year 1864
which was of vital importance in maintaining the blockade.

It is a principle of international law that a belligerent must
itself attend to the great task of suppressing contraband trade
with its enemy. Lincoln was careful to observe this principle.
Though British merchants were frankly speculating in contraband
trade, he made no demand upon the British Government to relieve
him of the difficulty of stopping it. England also took the
legitimate position under international law and warned her
merchants that, while it was none of the Government's business to
prevent such trade, they practised it at their own risk, subject
to well-understood penalties agreed upon among nations. The
merchants nevertheless continued to take the risk, while both
they and the authorities of the Confederacy thought they saw a
way of minimizing the danger. Instead of shipping supplies
direct to the Confederate ports they shipped them to Matamoros,
in Mexico, or to the West Indies. As these ports were in neutral
territory, the merchants thought their goods would be safe
against capture until they left the Mexican or West Indian port
on their brief concluding passage to the territory of the
Confederacy. Nassau, then a petty West India town, was the chief
depot of such trade and soon became a great commercial center.
To it came vast quantities of European goods which were then
transferred to swift, small vessels, or "blockade-runners," which
took a gambler's chance and often succeeded in eluding the
Federal patrol ships and in rushing their cargoes safe into a
Confederate port.

Obviously, it was a great disadvantage to the United States to
allow contraband supplies to be accumulated, without
interference, close to the blockaded coast, and the Lincoln
Government determined to remove this disadvantage. With this end
in view it evoked the principle of the continuous voyage, which
indeed was not new, but which was destined to become fixed in
international law by the Supreme Court of the United States.
American cruisers were instructed to stop British ships sailing
between the British ports of Liverpool and Nassau; they were to
use the recognized international rights of visit and search; and
if there was evidence that the cargo was not destined for actual
consumption at Nassau, they were to bring the ship into an
American port to be dealt with by an American prize court. When
such arrests began, the owners clamored to the British
Government, and both dealers in contraband and professional
blockade-runners worked themselves into a fury because American
cruisers watched British ports and searched British ships on the
high seas. With regard to this matter, the British Government
and the Government at Washington had their last important
correspondence during the war. The United States stood firm for
the idea that when goods were ultimately intended for the
Confederacy, no matter how roundabout the journey, they could be
considered as making a single continuous voyage and were liable
to capture from the day they left Liverpool. Early in 1865, the
Supreme Court of the United States fully developed the principle
of continuous voyage in four celebrated cases that are now among
the landmarks of international law.*

* The Great war has once again led to controversy over this
subject, so vital to neutral states.

This was the last step in making the blockade effective.
Thereafter, it slowly strangled the South. The Federal armies
enormously overmatched the Southern, and from November, 1864,
their continuance in the field was made sure. Grim work still
lay before Lincoln, but the day of anxiety was past. In this
moment of comparative ease, the aged Chief Justice Taney died,
and Lincoln appointed to that high position his ungenerous rival,

Even now Lincoln had not established himself as a leader superior
to party, but he had the satisfaction, early in 1865, of seeing
the ranks of the opposition begin to break. Naturally, the
Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery
throughout the United States, appeared to Lincoln as in a way the
consummation of his labors. When the House voted on the
resolution to send this amendment to the States, several
Democrats joined the government forces. Two nights afterward,
speaking to a serenading party at the White House, Lincoln made a
brief speech, part of which is thus reported by his secretaries:
"He thought this measure was a very fitting if not an
indispensable adjunct to the winding up of the great difficulty.
He wished the reunion of all the States perfected, and so
effected as to remove all causes of disturbance in the future;
and to attain this end, it was necessary that the original
disturbing cause should, if possible, be rooted out."

An event which in its full detail belongs to Confederate rather
than to Union history took place soon after this. At Hampton
Roads, Lincoln and Seward met Confederate commissioners who had
asked for a parley--with regard to peace. Nothing came of the
meeting, but the conference gave rise to a legend, false in fact
and yet true in spirit, according to which Lincoln wrote on a
sheet of paper the word "Union," pushed it across to Alexander H.
Stephens and said, "Write under that anything you please."

This fiction expresses Lincoln's attitude toward the sinking
Confederacy. On his return from Hampton Roads he submitted to
his Cabinet a draft of a message which he proposed to send to
Congress. He recommended the appropriation of $400,000,000 to be
distributed among the slave states on condition that war cease
before April 1, 1865. Not a member of the Cabinet approved. His
secretary, Mr. Nicolay, writes: "The President, in evident
surprise and sorrow at the want of statesmanlike liberality shown
by his executive council, folded and laid away the draft of his
message...." With a deep sigh he added, "But you are all opposed
to me, and I will not send the message."

His second inauguration passed without striking incidents.
Chase, as Chief Justice, administered the oath. The second
inaugural address contained words which are now famous: "With
malice towards none; with charity for all; with firmness in the
right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to
finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to
care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow,
and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just
and a lasting peace among ourselves, and with all nations."

That gigantic system of fleets and armies, the creation of which
was due to Lincoln, was closing tight around the dying
Confederacy. Five weeks after the inauguration Lee surrendered,
and the war was virtually at an end. What was to come after was
inevitably the overshadowing topic of the hour. Many anecdotes
represent Lincoln, in these last few days of his life, as
possessed by a high though melancholy mood of extreme mercy.
Therefore, much has been inferred from the following words, in
his last public address, made on the night of the 11th of April:
"In the present situation, as the phrase goes, it may be my duty
to make some new announcement to the people of the South. I am
considering and shall not fail to act when action shall be

What was to be done for the South, what treatment should be
accorded the Southern leaders, engrossed the President and his
Cabinet at the meeting on the 14th of April, which was destined
to be their last. Secretary Welles has preserved the spirit of
the meeting in a striking anecdote. Lincoln said that no one
need expect he would "take any part in hanging or killing those
men, even the worst of them. Frighten them out of the country,
open the gates, let down the bars, scare them off;" said he,
throwing up his hands as if scaring sheep. "Enough lives have
been sacrificed; we must extinguish our resentments if we expect
harmony and union."

While Lincoln was thus arming himself with a valiant mercy, a
band of conspirators at an obscure boardinghouse in Washington
were planning his assassination. Their leader was John Wilkes
Booth, an actor, brother of the much abler Edwin Booth. There
seems little doubt that he was insane. Around him gathered a
small group of visionary extremists in whom much brooding upon
Southern wrongs had produced an unbalanced condition. Only a
morbid interest can attach today to the strange cunning with
which Booth laid his plans, thinking of himself all the while as
a reincarnation of the Roman Brutus.

On the night of the 14th of April, the President attended a
performance of "Our American Cousin". While the play was in
progress, Booth stole into the President's box, came close behind
him, and shot him through the head. Lincoln never spoke again
and, shortly after seven next morning, ceased breathing.

At the same time, a futile attempt was made upon the life of
Seward. Booth temporarily escaped. Later he was overtaken and
shot. His accomplices were hanged.

The passage of sixty years has proved fully necessary to the
placing of Lincoln in historic perspective. No President, in his
own time, with the possible exception of Washington, was so
bitterly hated and so fiercely reviled. On the other hand, none
has been the object of such intemperate hero-worship. However,
the greatest of the land were, in the main, quick to see him in
perspective and to recognize his historic significance. It is
recorded of Davis that in after days he paid a beautiful tribute
to Lincoln and said, "Next to the destruction of the Confederacy,
the death of Abraham Lincoln was the darkest day the South has


There are two general histories, of conspicuous ability, that
deal with this period:

J. F. Rhodes, "History of the United States from the Compromise
of 1850", 7 vols. (1893-1906), and J. B. McMaster, "History of
the People of the United States", 7 vols. (1883-1912). McMaster
has the more "modern" point of view and is excellent but dry,
without any sense of narrative. Rhodes has a somewhat older
point of view. For example, he makes only a casual reference, in
a quotation, to the munitions problem of 1861, though analyzing
with great force and candor such constitutional issues as the
arrests under the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. The
other strong points in his work are its sense of narrative, its
freedom from hero-worship, its independence of conventional views
of Northern leaders. As to the South, it suffers from a certain
Narrowness of vision due to the comparative scantiness of the
material used. The same may be said of McMaster.

For Lincoln, there is no adequate brief biography. Perhaps the
best is the most recent, "Abraham Lincoln", by Lord Charnwood
("Makers of the Nineteenth Century", 1917). It has a kind of
cool detachment that hardly any biographer had shown previously,
and yet this coolness is joined with extreme admiration. Short
biographies worth considering are John T. Morse, Jr., Abraham
Lincoln" ("American Statesmen" Series, 2 vols., 1893), and Ida M.
Tarbell, "Life of Abraham Lincoln", 2 vols. (1900). The official
biography is in ten volumes, "Abraham Lincoln, a History", by his
secretaries, John G. Nicolay and John Hay (1890). It is a
priceless document and as such is little likely to be forgotten.
But its events are so numerous that they swamp the figure of
Lincoln and yet are not numerous enough to constitute a
definitive history of the times. It is wholly eulogistic. The
same authors edited "The Writings of Abraham Lincoln"
(Biographical Edition, 2 vols., 1894), which has since been
expanded (1905) and now fills twelve volumes. It is the
definitive presentation of Lincoln's mind. A book much sought
after by his enemies is William Henry Herndon and Jesse William
Weik, "The History and Personal Recollections of Abraham
Lincoln", 8 vols. (1889; unexpurgated edition). It contains
about all we know of his early life and paints a picture of
sordid ugliness. Its reliability has been disputed. No study of
Lincoln is complete unless one has marched through the "Diary" of
Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy, 3 vols. (1911), which is
our most important document showing Lincoln in his Cabinet.
Important sidelights on his character and development are shown
in Ward Hill Lamon, "Recollections of Lincoln" (1911); David
Homer Bates, "Lincoln in the Telegraph Office" (1907); and
Frederick Trevor Hill, "Lincoln as a Lawyer" (1906). A
bibliography of Lincoln is in the twelfth volume of the latest
edition of the "Writings".

The lesser statesmen of the time, both Northern and Southern,
still, as a rule, await proper treatment by detached biographers.
Two Northerners have had such treatment, in Allen Johnson's
"Stephen A. Douglas" (1908), and Frederic Bancroft's "Life of
William H. Seward", 2 vols. (1900). Good, but without the
requisite detachment, is Moorfield Storey's "Charles Sumner",
("American Statesmen Series", 1900). With similar excellences
but with the same defect, though still the best in its field, is
Albert Bushnell Hart's "Salmon P. Chase" ("American Statesmen
Series", 1899). Among the Southern statesmen involved in the
events of this volume, only the President of the Confederacy has
received adequate reconsideration in recent years, in William E.
Dodd's "Jefferson Davis" (1907). The latest life of "Robert
Toombs", by Ulrich B. Phillips (1914), is not definitive, but the
best extant. The great need for adequate lives of Stephens and
Yancey is not at all met by the obsolete works--R. M. Johnston
and W. M. Browne, "Life of Alexander H. Stephens" (1878), and J.
W. Du Bose, "The Life and Times of William Lowndes Yancey"
(1892). There is a brief biography of Stephens by Louis
Pendleton, in the "American Crisis Biographies". Most of the
remaining biographies of the period, whether Northern or
Southern, are either too superficial or too partisan to be
recommended for general use. Almost alone in their way are the
delightful "Confederate Portraits", by Gamaliel Bradford (1914),
and the same author's "Union Portraits "(1916).

Upon conditions in the North during the war there is a vast
amount of material; but little is accessible to the general
reader. A book of great value is Emerson Fite's Social and
Industrial Conditions in the North during the Civil War (1910).
Out of unnumbered books of reminiscence, one stands forth for the
sincerity of its disinterested, if sharp, observation--W. H.
Russell's "My Diary North and South" (1868). Two newspapers are
invaluable: The "New York Tribune" for a version of events as
seen by the war party, "The New York Herald "for the opposite
point of view; the Chicago papers are also important, chiefly the
"Times" and "Tribune"; the "Republican "of Springfield, Mass.,
had begun its distinguished career, while the "Journal" and
"Advertiser" of Boston revealed Eastern New England. For the
Southern point of view, no papers are more important than the
Richmond "Examiner", the Charleston "Mercury", and the New
Orleans "Picayune". Financial and economic problems are well
summed up in D. R. Dewey's "Financial History of the United
States" (3d edition, 1907), and in E. P. Oberholzer's "Jay
Cooks", 2 vols. (1907). Foreign affairs are summarized
adequately in C. F. Adams's "Charles Francis Adams" ("American
Statesmen Series", 1900), John Bigelow's "France and the
Confederate Navy" (1888), A. P. Martin's "Maximilian in Mexico"
(1914), and John Bassett Moore's "Digest of International Law", 8
vols. (1906).

The documents of the period ranging from newspapers to
presidential messages are not likely to be considered by the
general reader, but if given a fair chance will prove
fascinating. Besides the biographical edition of Lincoln's
Writings, should be named, first of all, "The Congressional
Globe" for debates in Congress; the "Statutes at Large"; the
"Executive Documents", published by the Government and containing
a great number of reports; and the enormous collection issued by
the War Department under the title "Official Records of the Union
and Confederate Armies", 128 vols. (1880-1901), especially the
groups of volumes known as second and third series.

Book of the day: