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Atlantic Monthly, Vol. XI., April, 1863, No. LXVI. by Various

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services as General Halleck's chief of staff and chief engineer during
the remarkable Western campaign, shows an industry only to be explained
by his intense realization of the need of a book like this, as an
antidote to that deficient military instruction which has been so
replete with bad results. The translation is a faithful and lucid
rendering of the original, and the technical words and expressions are
generally satisfactory equivalents of the French terms.

We venture to express the hope that this painful war will lead to a
fresh and successful study of military science and art in relation to
American campaign-elements, so that future contingencies can be more
creditably met than was that which Secession suddenly precipitated on
us.

_Rejoinder to Mrs. Stowe's Reply to the Address of the Women of
England_.

Emily Faithfull, "printer and publisher in ordinary to Her Majesty," has
issued from the "Victoria Press," in London, a small pamphlet with the
above title, written at the request of a committee of British women by
Miss Frances Power Cobbe, author of "Intuitive Morals." As Mrs. Stowe's
"Reply" was first printed in this magazine, we here give the whole
"Rejoinder."

"The following Address has been written with the belief that it embodies
the general sentiments of English women on the subject of Slavery. It
has been decided to seek no signatures on the present occasion, rather
than repeat the vast undertaking of obtaining any number which should
adequately correspond with the half-million names appended to the former
Address.

"MADAM,--You have asked of the women of England a solemn question. You
have recalled the Address which half a million of us once sent you,
appealing to our sisters in America to raise their voices against
Slavery; and you demand, Where is now the spirit which dictated that
appeal? You quote the evidence of our press and our public speakers,
that the righteous indignation against Slavery which once kindled in all
English hearts has waned, if it have not died out; and you allege that
we have been wanting in generous faith and sympathy for the North in her
great struggle, and have even descended to afford countenance, if
not assistance, to the South. You challenge us to account for this
dereliction from our former ardent sentiments, and you ask wherefore it
is that _now_, when the conflict has assumed its most terrible form, and
the peaceful persuasions of philanthropists have been superseded by
the shock of contending armies spreading desolation through your
land,--_now_ we stand afar off, viewing coldly that awful contest, and
sending, instead of cheering words of sympathy and faith, only doubts
and lamentations over a 'fratricidal war,' and regrets partitioned with
strange impartiality between the sufferers in the cause of free America,
and those who have, in their own audacious words,' founded their
commonwealth on the institution of Slavery.' You retort our old appeal
in the face of these things, and you say to us, 'Sisters, you have
spoken well; we have heard you; we have heeded; we have striven in the
cause, even unto death; we have sealed our devotion by desolate hearth
and darkened homestead,--by the blood of sons, husbands, and brothers.
In many of our dwellings the very light of our lives has gone out, and
yet we accept the lifelong darkness as our own part in this great and
awful expiation, by which the bonds of wickedness shall be loosed, and
abiding peace established on the foundation of righteousness. Sisters,
what have _you_ done, and what do you mean to do? In view of the decline
of the noble anti-slavery fire in England, in view of all the facts
and admissions recited from your own papers, we beg leave, in solemn
sadness, to return to you your own words:--

"'A common origin, a common faith, and, we sincerely believe, a common
cause, urge us at the present moment to address you on the subject of
the fearful encouragement and support which is being afforded by England
to a slave-holding Confederacy. We appeal to you as sisters, as wives,
as mothers, to raise your voices to your fellow-citizens, and your
prayers to God, for the removal of this affliction and disgrace from the
Christian world.'

"Madam, in answering this solemn appeal, we do not desire to detail the
causes which may, in a measure, explain or palliate this failure in
our national sympathy, whose existence (in so far as it is true) we
profoundly deplore. Enough, and more than enough, debate has been
already held on the complicated motives which have blended in your
war, as in all other human concerns, and on the occasional acts of
questionable spirit which must inevitably attend the public policy and
sentiments of a nation engaged in deadliest conflict and bleeding at
every pore. Somewhat you may perhaps forgive to those who have withheld
their full sympathies, jealous that a most righteous cause should
be maintained with any save the most untainted motives and the most
unbending rectitude, and who have failed even yet to read in your policy
the full _desire_ to accomplish that end of universal emancipation
whereto Providence is visibly directing the course of events.
Somewhat, also, may be forgiven to those who have been misled by the
misrepresentations of a portion of our press, and offended by the
inimical spirit of your own. But, Madam, although many lips have been
closed which ought to have spoken to you words of blessing, though the
voice of England which has reached you has lacked that full tone of
heartfelt sympathy you had justly anticipated, yet believe not that
our nation is truly alienated from yours, or apostate to the great
principles of freedom which were once our glory. The heart of England is
sound at the core: Slavery is now and ever an abomination in our eyes;
nor has the dastard proposition to recognize the Confederate States
failed to call forth indignant rejection, and that even with peculiar
earnestness from those suffering operatives whose relief such a measure
might have secured. It is to assure you of this, to vindicate ourselves
from the shame of turning back in the hour of trial,--most foreign to
our common Saxon race,--that we, the Women of England, offer you this
response.

"We do not less abhor Slavery now than when your eloquent words called
out an echo of feeling throughout Europe, such as no other appeal for
the wronged or the miserable ever produced. We abhor Slavery, judging it
simply as _human beings_, and because of all the agonies and tortures it
has occasioned. We abhor it, judging it especially as _women_, because
of all the unspeakable wrongs, the hideous degradation, it has inflicted
on our sex. But we abhor it not only because of these its results, nor
with a hatred which would be withdrawn, were they disputable now or
remediable hereafter. We abhor Slavery for itself, and for its own
enormous iniquity,--even the robbing from a human being of that freedom
which it was the supreme gift of Omnipotence to bestow. We hold, that,
were it in the power of the slaveholder to make his slaves absolutely
happy, Slavery would not less be an injustice and a crime. Happiness is
not to be measured against freedom, else would God have left us brutes,
not men, and spared us all the sorrows of struggling humanity. And
whereas it has been argued that the negro is of a race inferior to his
master, and that therefore it is justifiable to enslave him, we reply,
that the right to freedom is not founded on the equality of the holder
to any other human being, else were every white man also lawfully to be
enslaved by every other stronger or wiser than himself. But the right to
freedom is founded simply and solely on the moral nature wherewith God
has endowed every man and woman of the human race, enabling them, by its
use, to attain to that virtue which is the end of their creation. And
whereas others, again, have defended Slavery on the grounds of the
supposed Divine sanction to be found for it in the Scriptures, we reply,
that we deplore the condition of those whose religion can lend itself
to the task of seeking to appeal to God for the permission of an
institution which the consciences He has made unequivocally loathe
and condemn. Nor shall we hesitate to stigmatize such an appeal as
hypocrisy, until the theologians who make it advance a step farther, and
tell us that they are prepared to represent Jesus of Nazareth as one
who, in fitting time and place, might have been a purchaser and a master
of slaves. Thus, Madam, do we still condemn and abhor Slavery, as we
have ever done, as in itself, and in its own nature, utterly evil and
utterly indefensible; and we consider its vast and terrible results of
cruelty and immorality to be only the natural fruit of so stupendous a
wrong.

"We have not withheld from your nation either the tribute of admiration
for the vast sacrifices you have made, or of sympathy for the
bereavements and sufferings you have endured. But the expression of such
admiration and sympathy from the truest hearts among us has been almost
silenced by the solemn joy wherewith we have beheld your country purging
herself, even through seas of blood, for her guilty participation in the
crimes of the past, and preparing for herself the stainless future of 'a
land wherein dwelleth righteousness.' We have rejoiced in the midst of
sorrow to know that the doom of Slavery was written by a Divine Hand,
even from the hour when its upholders dared to believe it possible in
the face of Heaven to build up a State upon an injustice. We have looked
with awe-struck consciences to this great revelation of the moral laws
which govern the nations of the earth, and show to men who sought for
God in the records of distant ages that the Living Lord still rules
on high, and is working out even before our eyes the delivery of the
captive and the punishment of the oppressor. The greatest national sin
of Christian times has wrought the greatest national overthrow. The
hidden evil of the land, which long smouldered underground, has blazed
forth at last like a volcano, bursting in sunder the most solid of human
institutions, and pouring the lava-streams of ruin and desolation even
to the remotest shores where the spoil of guilt had been partaken. But
while we behold with awe, in the present calamity, the manifestation of
Supreme Justice, we look with confident hope to the final issue to which
it must lead. In whatever mode that end may be brought out, and through
whatever struggles America may yet be doomed to pass, we are assured
that only one termination can await a conflict between a nation which
has abjured its complicity with crime and a confederation which exists
but to perpetuate that crime forever. It is not now, in the presence of
the events of the last three years, that we shall be tempted to fear
that Wrong and Robbery, and the systematic degradation of woman, may
possibly prove to be principles of stability, capable of producing the
security and consolidation of a commonwealth! Your courage in this
Titanic strife,--the lavish devotion with which the best blood of your
land has been poured out on the field, and the tears of childless
mothers shed in homes never before visited by the sorrows of war,--the
patriotic generosity with which your treasures have been cast into the
gulf opened suddenly in your busy and prosperous land, even as of old
in the forum of ancient Rome,--these noble acts of yours inspire with
confidence in you, no less than pride in the indomitable energies of
our common race. But above your valor and your patriotism, we look with
still higher hope to those moral laws whose vindication is involved in
the issue of the conflict; and we feel assured, that, while for the
Slave-Power the future can hold no possibility of enduring prosperity,
for Free America it promises the regeneration of a higher and holier
national existence, when the one great blot which marred the glory of
the past shall have been expiated and effaced forever.

"This, Madam, is the belief and these are the hopes of thousands of
Englishmen. They are, we are persuaded, even more universally the
belief and hopes of the Women of England, whose hearts the complicated
difficulties of politics and the miserable jealousies of national
rivalry do not distract from the great principles underlying the
contest. The failure of English sympathy whereof you complain is
but partial at the most, and for that partial failure we deeply and
sorrowfully grieve. But the nation at large is still true; and wherever
it has been possible to learn the feelings of the great masses, no lack
of ardent feeling has ever been found in England for the Northern cause.
Though senseless words and inhuman jests have been bandied across the
Atlantic, yet we are assured that in the heart of both our nations
survives unchanged that _kindred_ regard and respect whose property it
is, above other human feelings, to be indestructible. At this hour of
your own greatest need and direful struggle,--at this hour, when a
pirate from our ports is ravaging your shores, as you believe (albeit
erroneously) with our guilty connivance--at this very hour you have come
forward with noblest generosity, and sent us the rich vessel which has
brought food to our starving people. The _Griswold_ has been your answer
to the _Alabama_. It is a magnanimous, a sublime one; and English hearts
are not too cold to read it aright, or to cherish through all future
time the memory thereof. Scorn and hate are transient and evanescent
things; charity and love have in them the elements of immortality.

"Madam, we answer your Appeal by this rejoinder, and send this message
through your honored hands to our sisters in America: Our hearts
are with you in unchanged sympathy for your holy cause, in undying
abhorrence of Slavery, in profound sorrow for your present afflictions,
and in firmest faith in the final overthrow of that unrighteous Power
whose corner-stone is an injustice and a crime.

"IN BEHALF OF

"THE WOMEN OF ENGLAND."

* * * * *

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RECEIVED BY THE EDITORS OF THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY.

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