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Law. I mean to assert that the ground actually put forward is
trifling--the loss, namely, of slaves to which the South has been
subjected. But the true reason pointed at in this--the conviction,
namely, that the North would not leave slavery alone, and would not
allow it to remain as a settled institution--was by no means
trifling. It has been this conviction on the part of the South that
the North would not live in amity with slavery--would continue to
fight it under this banner or under that, would still condemn it as
disgraceful to men and rebuke it as impious before God--which has
produced rebellion and civil war, and will ultimately produce that
division for which the South is fighting and against which the North
is fighting, and which, when accomplished, will give the North new
wings, and will leave the South without political greatness or
commercial success.

Under such circumstances I cannot think that rebellion on the part
of the South was justified by wrongs endured, or made reasonable by
the prospect of wrongs to be inflicted. It is disagreeable, that
having to live with a wife who is always rebuking one for some
special fault; but the outside world will not grant a divorce on
that account, especially if the outside world is well aware that the
fault so rebuked is of daily occurrence. "If you do not choose to
be called a drunkard by your wife," the outside world will say, "it
will be well that you should cease to drink." Ah! but that habit of
drinking, when once acquired, cannot easily be laid aside. The
brain will not work; the organs of the body will not perform their
functions; the blood will not run. The drunkard must drink till he
dies. All that may be a good ground for divorce, the outside world
will say; but the plea should be put in by the sober wife, not by
the intemperate husband. But what if the husband takes himself off
without any divorce, and takes with him also his wife's property,
her earnings, that on which he has lived and his children? It may
be a good bargain still for her, the outside world will say; but
she, if she be a woman of spirit, will not willingly put up with
such wrongs. The South has been the husband drunk with slavery, and
the North has been the ill-used wife.

Rebellion, as I have said, is often justifiable but it is, I think,
never justifiable on the part of a paid servant of that government
against which it is raised. We must, at any rate, feel that this is
true of men in high places--as regards those men to whom by reason
of their offices it should specially belong to put down rebellion.
Had Washington been the governor of Virginia, had Cromwell been a
minister of Charles, had Garibaldi held a marshal's baton under the
Emperor of Austria or the King of Naples, those men would have been
traitors as well as rebels. Treason and rebellion may be made one
under the law, but the mind will always draw the distinction. I, if
I rebel against the Crown, am not on that account necessarily a
traitor. A betrayal of trust is, I take it, necessary to treason.
I am not aware that Jefferson Davis is a traitor; but that Buchanan
was a traitor admits, I think, of no doubt. Under him, and with his
connivance, the rebellion was allowed to make its way. Under him,
and by his officers, arms and ships and men and money were sent away
from those points at which it was known that they would be needed,
if it were intended to put down the coming rebellion, and to those
points at which it was known that they would be needed, if it were
intended to foster the coming rebellion. But Mr. Buchanan had no
eager feeling in favor of secession. He was not of that stuff of
which are made Davis, and Toombs, and Slidell. But treason was
easier to him than loyalty. Remonstrance was made to him, pointing
out the misfortunes which his action, or want of action, would bring
upon the country. "Not in my time," he answered. "It will not be
in my time." So that he might escape unscathed out of the fire,
this chief ruler of a nation of thirty millions of men was content
to allow treason and rebellion to work their way! I venture to say
so much here as showing how impossible it was that Mr. Lincoln's
government, on its coming into office, should have given to the
South, not what the South had asked, for the South had not asked,
but what the South had taken, what the South had tried to filch.
Had the South waited for secession till Mr. Lincoln had been in his
chair, I could understand that England should sympathize with her.
For myself I cannot agree to that scuttling of the ship by the
captain on the day which was to see the transfer of his command to
another officer.

The Southern States were driven into rebellion by no wrongs
inflicted on them; but their desire for secession is not on that
account matter for astonishment. It would have been surprising had
they not desired secession. Secession of one kind, a very practical
secession, had already been forced upon them by circumstances. They
had become a separate people, dissevered from the North by habits,
morals, institutions, pursuits, and every conceivable difference in
their modes of thought and action. They still spoke the same
language, as do Austria and Prussia; but beyond that tie of language
they had no bond but that of a meager political union in their
Congress at Washington. Slavery, as it had been expelled from the
North, and as it had come to be welcomed in the South, had raised
such a wall of difference that true political union was out of the
question. It would be juster, perhaps, to say that those physical
characteristics of the South which had induced this welcoming of
slavery, and those other characteristics of the North which had
induced its expulsion, were the true causes of the difference. For
years and years this has been felt by both, and the fight has been
going on. It has been continued for thirty years, and almost always
to the detriment of the South. In 1845 Florida and Texas were
admitted into the Union as slave States. I think that no State had
then been admitted, as a free State, since Michigan, in 1836. In
1846 Iowa was admitted as a free State, and from that day to this
Wisconsin, California, Minnesota, Oregon, and Kansas have been
brought into the Union; all as free States. The annexation of
another slave State to the existing Union had become, I imagine,
impossible--unless such object were gained by the admission of
Texas. We all remember that fight about Kansas, and what sort of a
fight it was! Kansas lies alongside of Missouri, a slave State, and
is contiguous to no other State. If the free-soil party could, in
the days of Pierce and Buchanan, carry the day in Kansas, it is not
likely that they would be beaten on any new ground under such a
President as Lincoln. We have all heard in Europe how Southern men
have ruled in the White House, nearly from the days of Washington
downward; or if not Southern men, Northern men, such as Pierce and
Buchanan, with Southern politics; and therefore we have been taught
to think that the South has been politically the winning party.
They have, in truth, been the losing party as regards national
power. But what they have so lost they have hitherto recovered by
political address and individual statecraft. The leading men of the
South have seen their position, and have gone to their work with the
exercise of all their energies. They organized the Democratic party
so as to include the leaders among the Northern politicians. They
never begrudged to these assistants a full share of the good things
of official life. They have been aided by the fanatical
abolitionism of the North by which the Republican party has been
divided into two sections. It has been fashionable to be a
Democrat, that is, to hold Southern politics, and unfashionable to
be a Republican, or to hold anti-Southern politics. In that way the
South has lived and struggled on against the growing will of the
population; but at last that will became too strong, and when Mr.
Lincoln was elected, the South knew that its day was over.

It is not surprising that the South should have desired secession.
It is not surprising that it should have prepared for it. Since the
days of Mr. Calhoun its leaders have always understood its position
with a fair amount of political accuracy. Its only chance of
political life lay in prolonged ascendency at Washington. The
swelling crowds of Germans, by whom the Western States were being
filled, enlisted themselves to a man in the ranks of abolition.
What was the acquisition of Texas against such hosts as these? An
evil day was coming on the Southern politicians, and it behooved
them to be prepared. As a separate nation--a nation trusting to
cotton, having in their hands, as they imagined, a monopoly of the
staple of English manufacture, with a tariff of their own, and those
rabid curses on the source of all their wealth no longer ringing in
their ears, what might they not do as a separate nation? But as a
part of the Union, they were too weak to hold their own if once
their political finesse should fail them. That day came upon them,
not unexpected, in 1860, and therefore they cut the cable.

And all this has come from slavery. It is hard enough, for how
could the South have escaped slavery? How, at least, could the
South have escaped slavery any time during these last thirty years?
And is it, moreover, so certain that slavery is an unmitigated evil,
opposed to God's will, and producing all the sorrows which have ever
been produced by tyranny and wrong? It is here, after all, that one
comes to the difficult question. Here is the knot which the fingers
of men cannot open, and which admits of no sudden cutting with the
knife. I have likened the slaveholding States to the drunken
husband, and in so doing have pronounced judgment against them. As
regards the state of the drunken man, his unfitness for partnership
with any decent, diligent, well-to-do wife, his ruined condition,
and shattered prospects, the simile, I think, holds good. But I
refrain from saying that as the fault was originally with the
drunkard in that he became such, so also has the fault been with the
slave States. At any rate I refrain from so saying here, on this
page. That the position of a slaveowner is terribly prejudicial,
not to the slave, of whom I do not here speak, but to the owner; of
so much at any rate I feel assured. That the position is therefore
criminal and damnable, I am not now disposed to take upon myself to

The question of slavery in America cannot be handled fully and
fairly by any one who is afraid to go back upon the subject, and
take its whole history since one man first claimed and exercised the
right of forcing labor from another man. I certainly am afraid of
any such task; but I believe that there has been no period yet,
since the world's work began, when such a practice has not prevailed
in a large portion, probably in the largest portion, of the world's
work fields. As civilization has made its progress, it has been the
duty and delight, as it has also been the interest of the men at the
top of affairs, not to lighten the work of the men below, but so to
teach them that they should recognize the necessity of working
without coercion. Emancipation of serfs and thrals, of bondsmen and
slaves, has always meant this--that men having been so taught,
should then work without coercion.

In talking or writing of slaves, we always now think of the negro
slave. Of us Englishmen it must at any rate be acknowledged that we
have done what in us lay to induce him to recognize this necessity
for labor. At any rate we acted on the presumption that he would do
so, and gave him his liberty throughout all our lands at a cost
which has never yet been reckoned up in pounds, shillings, and
pence. The cost never can be reckoned up, nor can the gain which we
achieved in purging ourselves from the degradation and
demoralization of such employment. We come into court with clean
hands, having done all that lay with us to do to put down slavery
both at home and abroad. But when we enfranchised the negroes, we
did so with the intention, at least, that they should work as free
men. Their share of the bargain in that respect they have declined
to keep, wherever starvation has not been the result of such resolve
on their part; and from the date of our emancipation, seeing the
position which the negroes now hold with us, the Southern States of
America have learned to regard slavery as a permanent institution,
and have taught themselves to regard it as a blessing, and not as a

Negroes were first taken over to America because the white man could
not work under the tropical heats, and because the native Indian
would not work. The latter people has been, or soon will be,
exterminated--polished off the face of creation, as the Americans
say--which fate must, I should say, in the long run attend all non-
working people. As the soil of the world is required for increasing
population, the non-working people must go. And so the Indians have
gone. The negroes, under compulsion, did work, and work well; and
under their hands vast regions of the western tropics became fertile
gardens. The fact that they were carried up into northern regions
which from their nature did not require such aid, that slavery
prevailed in New York and Massachusetts, does not militate against
my argument. The exact limits of any great movement will not be
bounded by its purpose. The heated wax which you drop on your
letter spreads itself beyond the necessities of your seal. That
these negroes would not have come to the Western World without
compulsion, or having come, would not have worked without
compulsion, is, I imagine, acknowledged by all. That they have
multiplied in the Western World and have there become a race
happier, at any rate in all the circumstances of their life, than
their still untamed kinsmen in Africa, must also be acknowledged.
Who, then, can dare to wish that all that has been done by the negro
immigration should have remained undone?

The name of slave is odious to me. If I know myself I would not own
a negro though he could sweat gold on my behoof. I glory in that
bold leap in the dark which England took with regard to her own West
Indian slaves. But I do not see the less clearly the difficulty of
that position in which the Southern States have been placed; and I
will not call them wicked, impious, and abominable, because they now
hold by slavery, as other nations have held by it at some period of
their career. It is their misfortune that they must do so now--now,
when so large a portion of the world has thrown off the system,
spurning as base and profitless all labor that is not free. It is
their misfortune, for henceforth they must stand alone, with small
rank among the nations, whereas their brethren of the North will
still "flame in the forehead of the morning sky."

When the present Constitution of the United States was written--the
merit of which must probably be given mainly to Madison and
Hamilton, Madison finding the French democratic element, and
Hamilton the English conservative element--this question of slavery
was doubtless a great trouble. The word itself is not mentioned in
the Constitution. It speaks not of a slave, but of a "person held
to service or labor." It neither sanctions nor forbids slavery. It
assumes no power in the matter of slavery; and under it, at the
present moment, all Congress voting together, with the full consent
of the legislatures of thirty-three States, could not
constitutionally put down slavery in the remaining thirty-fourth
State. In fact the Constitution ignored the subject.

But, nevertheless, Washington, and Jefferson from whom Madison
received his inspiration, were opposed to slavery. I do not know
that Washington ever took much action in the matter, but his
expressed opinion is on record. But Jefferson did so throughout his
life. Before the Declaration of Independence he endeavored to make
slavery illegal in Virginia. In this he failed, but long afterward,
when the United States was a nation, he succeeded in carrying a law
by which the further importation of slaves into any of the States
was prohibited after a certain year--1820. When this law was
passed, the framers of it considered that the gradual abolition of
slavery would be secured. Up to that period the negro population in
the States had not been self-maintained. As now in Cuba, the
numbers had been kept up by new importations, and it was calculated
that the race, when not recruited from Africa, would die out. That
this calculation was wrong we now know, and the breeding-grounds of
Virginia have been the result.

At that time there were no cotton fields. Alabama and Mississippi
were outlying territories. Louisiana had been recently purchased,
but was not yet incorporated as a State. Florida still belonged to
Spain, and was all but unpopulated. Of Texas no man had yet heard.
Of the slave States, Virginia, the two Carolinas, and Georgia were
alone wedded to slavery. Then the matter might have been managed.
But under the Constitution as it had been framed, and with the
existing powers of the separate States, there was not even then open
any way by which slavery could be abolished other than by the
separate action of the States; nor has there been any such way
opened since. With slavery these Southern States have grown and
become fertile. The planters have thriven, and the cotton fields
have spread themselves. And then came emancipation in the British
islands. Under such circumstances and with such a lesson, could it
be expected that the Southern States should learn to love abolition?

It is vain to say that slavery has not caused secession, and that
slavery has not caused the war. That, and that only, has been the
real cause of this conflict, though other small collateral issues
may now be put forward to bear the blame. Those other issues have
arisen from this question of slavery, and are incidental to it and a
part of it. Massachusetts, as we all know, is democratic in its
tendencies, but South Carolina is essentially aristocratic. This
difference has come of slavery. A slave country, which has
progressed far in slavery, must be aristocratic in its nature--
aristocratic and patriarchal. A large slaveowner from Georgia may
call himself a democrat, may think that he reveres republican
institutions, and may talk with American horror of the thrones of
Europe; but he must in his heart be an aristocrat. We, in England,
are apt to speak of republican institutions, and of universal
suffrage, which is perhaps the chief of them, as belonging equally
to all the States. In South Carolina there is not and has not been
any such thing. The electors for the President there are chosen not
by the people, but by the legislature; and the votes for the
legislature are limited by a high property qualification. A high
property qualification is required for a member of the House of
Representatives in South Carolina; four hundred freehold acres of
land and ten negroes is one qualification. Five hundred pounds
clear of debt is another qualification; for, where a sum of money is
thus named, it is given in English money. Russia and England are
not more unlike in their political and social feelings than are the
real slave States and the real free-soil States. The gentlemen from
one and from the other side of the line have met together on neutral
ground, and have discussed political matters without flying
frequently at each other's throats, while the great question on
which they differed was allowed to slumber. But the awakening has
been coming by degrees, and now the South had felt that it was come.
Old John Brown, who did his best to create a servile insurrection at
Harper's Ferry, has been canonized through the North and West, to
the amazement and horror of the South. The decision in the "Dred
Scott" case, given by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the
United States, has been received with shouts of execration through
the North and West. The Southern gentry have been Uncle-Tommed into
madness. It is no light thing to be told daily by your fellow-
citizens, by your fellow-representatives, by your fellow-senators,
that you are guilty of the one damning sin that cannot be forgiven.
All this they could partly moderate, partly rebuke, and partly bear
as long as political power remained in their hands; but they have
gradually felt that that was going, and were prepared to cut the
rope and run as soon as it was gone.

Such, according to my ideas, have been the causes of the war. But I
cannot defend the South. As long as they could be successful in
their schemes for holding the political power of the nation, they
were prepared to hold by the nation. Immediately those schemes
failed, they were prepared to throw the nation overboard. In this
there has undoubtedly been treachery as well as rebellion. Had
these politicians been honest--though the political growth of
Washington has hardly admitted of political honesty--but had these
politicians been even ordinarily respectable in their dishonesty,
they would have claimed secession openly before Congress, while yet
their own President was at the White House. Congress would not have
acceded. Congress itself could not have acceded under the
Constitution; but a way would have been found, had the Southern
States been persistent in their demand. A way, indeed, has been
found; but it has lain through fire and water, through blood and
ruin, through treason and theft, and the downfall of national
greatness. Secession will, I think, be accomplished, and the
Southern Confederation of States will stand something higher in the
world than Mexico and the republics of Central America. Her cotton
monopoly will have vanished, and her wealth will have been wasted.

I think that history will agree with me in saying that the Northern
States had no alternative but war. What concession could they make?
Could they promise to hold their peace about slavery? And had they
so promised, would the South have believed them? They might have
conceded secession; that is, they might have given all that would
have been demanded. But what individual chooses to yield to such
demands. And if not an individual, then what people will do so?
But, in truth, they could not have yielded all that was demanded.
Had secession been granted to South Carolina and Georgia, Virginia
would have been coerced to join those States by the nature of her
property, and with Virginia Maryland would have gone, and
Washington, the capital. What may be the future line of division
between the North and the South, I will not pretend to say; but that
line will probably be dictated by the North. It may still be hoped
that Missouri, Kentucky, Virginia, and Maryland will go with the
North, and be rescued from slavery. But had secession been yielded,
had the prestige of success fallen to the lot of the South, those
States must have become Southern.

While on the subject of slavery--for in discussing the cause of the
war, slavery is the subject that must be discussed--I cannot forbear
to say a few words about the negroes of the North American States.
The Republican party of the North is divided into two sections, of
which one may be called abolitionist, and the other non-
abolitionist. Mr. Lincoln's government presumes itself to belong to
the latter, though its tendencies toward abolition are very strong.
The abolition party is growing in strength daily. It is but a short
time since Wendell Phillips could not lecture in Boston without a
guard of police. Now, at this moment of my writing, he is a popular
hero. The very men who, five years since, were accustomed to make
speeches, strong as words could frame them, against abolition, are
now turning round, and, if not preaching abolition, are patting the
backs of those who do so. I heard one of Mr. Lincoln's cabinet
declare old John Brown to be a hero and a martyr. All the
Protestant Germans are abolitionists--and they have become so strong
a political element in the country that many now declare that no
future President can be elected without their aid. The object is
declared boldly. No long political scheme is asked for, but instant
abolition is wanted; abolition to be declared while yet the war is
raging. Let the slaves of all rebels be declared free; and all
slaveowners in the seceding States are rebels!

One cannot but ask what abolition means, and to what it would lead.
Any ordinance of abolition now pronounced would not effect the
emancipation of the slaves, but might probably effect a servile
insurrection. I will not accuse those who are preaching this
crusade of any desire for so fearful a scourge on the land. They
probably calculate that an edict of abolition once given would be so
much done toward the ultimate winning of the battle. They are
making their hay while their sun shines. But if they could
emancipate those four million slaves, in what way would they then
treat them? How would they feed them? In what way would they treat
the ruined owners of the slaves, and the acres of land which would
lie uncultivated? Of all subjects with which a man may be called on
to deal, it is the most difficult. But a New England abolitionist
talks of it as though no more were required than an open path for
his humanitarian energies. "I could arrange it all to-morrow
morning," a gentleman said to me, who is well known for his zeal in
this cause!

Arrange it all to-morrow morning--abolition of slavery having become
a fact during the night! I should not envy that gentleman his
morning's work. It was bad enough with us; but what were our
numbers compared with those of the Southern States? We paid a price
for the slaves, but no price is to be paid in this case. The value
of the property would probably be lowly estimated at 100l. a piece
for men, women, and children, or 4,000,000l. sterling for the whole
population. They form the wealth of the South; and if they were
bought, what should be done with them? They are like children.
Every slaveowner in the country--every man who has had aught to do
with slaves--will tell the same story. In Maryland and Delaware are
men who hate slavery, who would be only too happy to enfranchise
their slaves; but the negroes who have been slaves are not fit for
freedom. In many cases, practically, they cannot be enfranchised.
Give them their liberty, starting them well in the world at what
expense you please, and at the end of six months they will come back
upon your hands for the means of support. Everything must be done
for them. They expect food and clothes, and instruction as to every
simple act of life, as do children. The negro domestic servant is
handy at his own work; no servant more so; but he cannot go beyond
that. He does not comprehend the object and purport of continued
industry. If he have money, he will play with it--he will amuse
himself with it. If he have none, he will amuse himself without it.
His work is like a school-boy's task; he knows it must be done, but
never comprehends that the doing of it is the very end and essence
of his life. He is a child in all things, and the extent of
prudential wisdom to which he ever attains is to disdain
emancipation and cling to the security of his bondage. It is true
enough that slavery has been a curse. Whatever may have been its
effect on the negroes, it has been a deadly curse upon the white

The preaching of abolition during the war is to me either the
deadliest of sins or the vainest of follies. Its only immediate
result possible would be servile insurrection. That is so
manifestly atrocious, a wish for it would be so hellish, that I do
not presume the preachers of abolition to entertain it. But if that
be not meant, it must be intended that an act of emancipation should
be carried throughout the slave States--either in their separation
from the North, or after their subjection and consequent reunion
with the North. As regards the States while in secession, the North
cannot operate upon their slaves any more than England can operate
on the slaves of Cuba. But if a reunion is to be a precursor of
emancipation, surely that reunion should be first effected. A
decision in the Northern and Western mind on such a subject cannot
assist in obtaining that reunion, but must militate against the
practicability of such an object. This is so well understood that
Mr. Lincoln and his government do not dare to call themselves

* President Lincoln has proposed a plan for the emancipation of
slaves in the border States, which gives compensation to the owners.
His doing so proves that he regards present emancipation in the Gulf
States as quite out of the question. It also proves that he looks
forward to the recovery of the border States for the North, but that
he does not look forward to the recovery of the Gulf States.

Abolition, in truth, is a political cry. It is the banner of
defiance opposed to secession. As the differences between the North
and South have grown with years, and have swelled to the proportions
of national antipathy, Southern nullification has amplified itself
into secession, and Northern free-soil principles have burst into
this growth of abolition. Men have not calculated the results.
Charming pictures are drawn for you of the negro in a state of
Utopian bliss, owning his own hoe and eating his own hog; in a
paradise, where everything is bought and sold, except his wife, his
little ones, and himself. But the enfranchised negro has always
thrown away his hoe, has eaten any man's hog but his own, and has
too often sold his daughter for a dollar when any such market has
been open to him.

I confess that this cry of abolition has been made peculiarly
displeasing to me by the fact that the Northern abolitionist is by
no means willing to give even to the negro who is already free that
position in the world which alone might tend to raise him in the
scale of human beings--if anything can so raise him and make him fit
for freedom. The abolitionists hold that the negro is the white
man's equal. I do not. I see, or think that I see, that the negro
is the white man's inferior through laws of nature. That he is not
mentally fit to cope with white men--I speak of the full-blooded
negro--and that he must fill a position simply servile. But the
abolitionist declares him to be the white man's equal. But yet,
when he has him at his elbow, he treats him with a scorn which even
the negro can hardly endure. I will give him political equality,
but not social equality, says the abolitionist. But even in this he
is untrue. A black man may vote in New York, but he cannot vote
under the same circumstances as a white man. He is subjected to
qualifications which in truth debar him from the poll. A white man
votes by manhood suffrage, providing he has been for one year an
inhabitant of his State; but a man of color must have been for three
years a citizen of the State, and must own a property qualification
of 50l. free of debt. But political equality is not what such men
want, nor indeed is it social equality. It is social tolerance and
social sympathy, and these are denied to the negro. An American
abolitionist would not sit at table with a negro. He might do so in
England at the house of an English duchess, but in his own country
the proposal of such a companion would be an insult to him. He will
not sit with him in a public carriage, if he can avoid it. In New
York I have seen special street cars for colored people. The
abolitionist is struck with horror when he thinks that a man and a
brother should be a slave; but when the man and the brother has been
made free, he is regarded with loathing and contempt. All this I
cannot see with equanimity. There is falsehood in it from the
beginning to the end. The slave, as a rule, is well treated--gets
all he wants and almost all he desires. The free negro, as a rule,
is ill treated, and does not get that consideration which alone
might put him in the worldly position for which his advocate
declares him to be fit. It is false throughout, this preaching.
The negro is not the white man's equal by nature. But to the free
negro in the Northern States this inequality is increased by the
white man's hardness to him.

In a former book which I wrote some few years since, I expressed an
opinion as to the probable destiny of this race in the West Indies.
I will not now go over that question again. I then divided the
inhabitants of those islands into three classes--the white, the
black, and the colored, taking a nomenclature which I found there
prevailing. By colored men I alluded to mulattoes, and all those of
mixed European and African blood. The word "colored," in the
States, seems to apply to the whole negro race, whether full-blooded
or half-blooded. I allude to this now because I wish to explain
that, in speaking of what I conceive to be the intellectual
inferiority of the negro race, I allude to those of pure negro
descent--or of descent so nearly pure as to make the negro element
manifestly predominant. In the West Indies, where I had more
opportunity of studying the subject, I always believed myself able
to tell a negro from a colored man. Indeed, the classes are to a
great degree distinct there, the greater portion of the retail trade
of the country being in the hands of the colored people. But in the
States I have been able to make no such distinction. One sees
generally neither the rich yellow of the West Indian mulatto nor the
deep oily black of the West Indian negro. The prevailing hue is a
dry, dingy brown--almost dusty in its dryness. I have observed but
little difference made between the negro and the half-caste--and no
difference in the actual treatment. I have never met in American
society any man or woman in whose veins there can have been presumed
to be any taint of African blood. In Jamaica they are daily to be
found in society.

Every Englishman probably looks forward to the accomplishment of
abolition of slavery at some future day. I feel as sure of it as I
do of the final judgment. When or how it shall come, I will not
attempt to foretell. The mode which seems to promise the surest
success and the least present or future inconvenience, would be an
edict enfranchising all female children born after a certain date,
and all their children. Under such an arrangement the negro
population would probably die out slowly--very slowly. What might
then be the fate of the cotton fields of the Gulf States, who shall
dare to say? It may be that coolies from India and from China will
then have taken the place of the negro there, as they probably will
have done also in Guiana and the West Indies.



Though I had felt Washington to be disagreeable as a city, yet I was
almost sorry to leave it when the day of my departure came. I had
allowed myself a month for my sojourn in the capital, and I had
stayed a mouth to the day. Then came the trouble of packing up, the
necessity of calling on a long list of acquaintances one after
another, the feeling that, bad as Washington might be, I might be
going to places that were worse, a conviction that I should get
beyond the reach of my letters, and a sort of affection which I had
acquired for my rooms. My landlord, being a colored man, told me
that he was sorry I was going. Would I not remain? Would I come
back to him? Had I been comfortable? Only for so and so or so and
so, he would have done better for me. No white American citizen,
occupying the position of landlord, would have condescended to such
comfortable words. I knew the man did not in truth want me to stay,
as a lady and gentleman were waiting to go in the moment I went out;
but I did not the less value the assurance. One hungers and thirsts
after such civil words among American citizens of this class. The
clerks and managers at hotels, the officials at railway stations,
the cashiers at banks, the women in the shops--ah! they are the
worst of all. An American woman who is bound by her position to
serve you--who is paid in some shape to supply your wants, whether
to sell you a bit of soap or bring you a towel in your bed-room at a
hotel--is, I think, of all human creatures, the most insolent. I
certainly had a feeling of regret at parting with my colored friend--
and some regret also as regards a few that were white.

As I drove down Pennsylvania Avenue, through the slush and mud, and
saw, perhaps for the last time, those wretchedly dirty horse
sentries who had refused to allow me to trot through the streets, I
almost wished that I could see more of them. How absurd they
looked, with a whole kit of rattletraps strapped on their horses'
backs behind them--blankets, coats, canteens, coils of rope, and,
always at the top of everything else, a tin pot! No doubt these
things are all necessary to a mounted sentry, or they would not have
been there; but it always seemed as though the horse had been loaded
gipsy-fashion, in a manner that I may perhaps best describe as
higgledy-piggledy, and that there was a want of military precision
in the packing. The man would have looked more graceful, and the
soldier more warlike, had the pannikin been made to assume some
rigidly fixed position instead of dangling among the ropes. The
drawn saber, too, never consorted well with the dirty outside woolen
wrapper which generally hung loose from the man's neck. Heaven
knows, I did not begrudge him his comforter in that cold weather, or
even his long, uncombed shock of hair; but I think he might have
been made more spruce, and I am sure that he could not have looked
more uncomfortable. As I went, however, I felt for him a sort of
affection, and wished in my heart of hearts that he might soon be
enabled to return to some more congenial employment.

I went out by the Capitol, and saw that also, as I then believed,
for the last time. With all its faults it is a great building, and,
though unfinished, is effective; its very size and pretension give
it a certain majesty. What will be the fate of that vast pile, and
of those other costly public edifices at Washington, should the
South succeed wholly in their present enterprise? If Virginia
should ever become a part of the Southern republic, Washington
cannot remain the capital of the Northern republic. In such case it
would be almost better to let Maryland go also, so that the future
destiny of that unfortunate city may not be a source of trouble, and
a stumbling-block of opprobrium. Even if Virginia be saved, its
position will be most unfortunate.

I fancy that the railroads in those days must have been doing a very
prosperous business. From New York to Philadelphia, thence on to
Baltimore, and again to Washington, I had found the cars full; so
full that sundry passengers could not find seats. Now, on my return
to Baltimore, they were again crowded. The stations were all
crowded. Luggage trains were going in and out as fast as the rails
could carry them. Among the passengers almost half were soldiers.
I presume that these were men going on furlough, or on special
occasions; for the regiments were of course not received by ordinary
passenger trains. About this time a return was called for by
Congress of all the moneys paid by the government, on account of the
army, to the lines between New York and Washington. Whether or no
it was ever furnished I did not hear; but it was openly stated that
the colonels of regiments received large gratuities from certain
railway companies for the regiments passing over their lines.
Charges of a similar nature were made against officers, contractors,
quartermasters, paymasters, generals, and cabinet ministers. I am
not prepared to say that any of these men had dirty hands. It was
not for me to make inquiries on such matters. But the continuance
and universality of the accusations were dreadful. When everybody
is suspected of being dishonest, dishonesty almost ceases to be
regarded as disgraceful.

I will allude to a charge made against one member of the cabinet,
because the circumstances of the case were all acknowledged and
proved. This gentleman employed his wife's brother-in-law to buy
ships, and the agent so employed pocketed about 20,000l. by the
transaction in six months. The excuse made was that this profit was
in accordance with the usual practice of the ship-dealing trade, and
that it was paid by the owners who sold, and not by the government
which bought. But in so vast an agency the ordinary rate of profit
on such business became an enormous sum; and the gentleman who made
the plea must surely have understood that that 20,000l. was in fact
paid by the government. It is the purchaser, and not the seller,
who in fact pays all such fees. The question is this: Should the
government have paid so vast a sum for one man's work for six
months? And if so, was it well that that sum should go into the
pocket of a near relative of the minister whose special business it
was to protect the government?

American private soldiers are not pleasant fellow-travelers. They
are loud and noisy, and swear quite as much as the army could
possibly have sworn in Flanders. They are, moreover, very dirty;
and each man, with his long, thick great-coat, takes up more space
than is intended to be allotted to him. Of course I felt that if I
chose to travel in a country while it had such a piece of business
on its hands, I could not expect that everything should be found in
exact order. The matter for wonder, perhaps, was that the ordinary
affairs of life were so little disarranged, and that any traveling
at all was practicable. Nevertheless, the fact remains that
American private soldiers are not agreeable fellow-travelers.

It was my present intention to go due west across the country into
Missouri, skirting, as it were, the line of the war which had now
extended itself from the Atlantic across into Kansas. There were at
this time three main armies--that of the Potomac, as the army of
Virginia was called, of which McClellan held the command; that of
Kentucky, under General Buell, who was stationed at Louisville on
the Ohio; and the army on the Mississippi, which had been under
Fremont, and of which General Halleck now held the command. To
these were opposed the three rebel armies of Beauregard, in
Virginia; of Johnston, on the borders of Kentucky and Tennessee; and
of Price, in Missouri. There was also a fourth army in Kansas, west
of Missouri, under General Hunter; and while I was in Washington
another general, supposed by some to be the "coming man," was sent
down to Kansas to participate in General Hunter's command. This was
General Jim Lane, who resigned a seat in the Senate in order that he
might undertake this military duty. When he reached Kansas, having
on his route made sundry violent abolition speeches, and proclaimed
his intention of sweeping slavery out of the Southwestern States, he
came to loggerheads with his superior officer respecting their
relative positions.

On my arrival at Baltimore, I found the place knee-deep in mud and
slush and half-melted snow. It was then raining hard,--raining
dirt, not water, as it sometimes does. Worse weather for soldiers
out in tents could not be imagined--nor for men who were not
soldiers, but who, nevertheless, were compelled to leave their
houses. I only remained at Baltimore one day, and then started
again, leaving there the greater part of my baggage. I had a vague
hope--a hope which I hardly hoped to realize--that I might be able
to get through to the South. At any rate I made myself ready for
the chance by making my traveling impediments as light as possible,
and started from Baltimore, prepared to endure all the discomfort
which lightness of baggage entails. My route lay over the
Alleghenies, by Pittsburg and Cincinnati, and my first stopping
place was at Harrisburg, the political capital of Pennsylvania.
There is nothing special at Harrisburg to arrest any traveler; but
the local legislature of the State was then sitting, and I was
desirous of seeing the Senate and Representatives of at any rate one
State, during its period of vitality.

In Pennsylvania the General Assembly, as the joint legislature is
called, sits every year, commencing their work early in January, and
continuing till it be finished. The usual period of sitting seems
to be about ten weeks. In the majority of States, the legislature
only sits every other year. In this State it sits every year, and
the Representatives are elected annually. The Senators are elected
for three years, a third of the body being chosen each year. The
two chambers were ugly, convenient rooms, arranged very much after
the fashion of the halls of Congress at Washington. Each member had
his own desk and his own chair. They were placed in the shape of a
horseshoe, facing the chairman, before whom sat three clerks. In
neither house did I hear any set speech. The voices of the Speaker
and of the Clerks of the Houses were heard more frequently than
those of the members; and the business seemed to be done in a dull,
serviceable, methodical manner, likely to be useful to the country,
and very uninteresting to the gentlemen engaged. Indeed at
Washington also, in Congress, it seemed to me that there was much
less of set speeches than in our House of Commons. With us there
are certain men whom it seems impossible to put down, and by whom
the time of Parliament is occupied from night to night, with
advantage to no one and with satisfaction to none but themselves. I
do not think that the evil prevails to the same extent in America,
either in Congress or in the State legislatures. As regards
Washington, this good result may be assisted by a salutary practice
which, as I was assured, prevails there. A member gets his speech
printed at the government cost, and sends it down free by post to
his constituents, without troubling either the House with hearing it
or himself with speaking it. I cannot but think that the practice
might be copied with success on our side of the water.

The appearance of the members of the legislature of Pennsylvania did
not impress me very favorably. I do not know why we should wish a
legislator to be neat in his dress, and comely, in some degree, in
his personal appearance. There is no good reason, perhaps, why they
should have cleaner shirts than their outside brethren, or have been
more particular in the use of soap and water, and brush and comb.
But I have an idea that if ever our own Parliament becomes dirty, it
will lose its prestige; and I cannot but think that the Parliament
of Pennsylvania would gain an accession of dignity by some slightly
increased devotion to the Graces. I saw in the two Houses but one
gentleman (a Senator) who looked like a Quaker; but even he was a
very untidy Quaker.

I paid my respects to the Governor, and found him briskly employed
in arranging the appointments of officers. All the regimental
appointments to the volunteer regiments--and that is practically to
the whole body of the army*--are made by the State in which the
regiments are mustered. When the affair commenced, the captains and
lieutenants were chosen by the men; but it was found that this would
not do. When the skeleton of a State militia only was required,
such an arrangement was popular and not essentially injurious; but
now that war had become a reality, and that volunteers were required
to obey discipline, some other mode of promotion was found
necessary. As far as I could understand, the appointments were in
the hands of the State Governor, who however was expected, in the
selection of the superior officers, to be guided by the expressed
wishes of the regiment, when no objection existed to such a choice.
In the present instance the Governor's course was very thorny.
Certain unfinished regiments were in the act of being amalgamated--
two perfect regiments being made up from perhaps five imperfect
regiments, and so on. But though the privates had not been
forthcoming to the full number for each expected regiment, there had
been no such dearth of officers, and consequently the present
operation consisted in reducing their number.

* The army at this time consisted nominally of 660,000 men, of whom
only 20,000 were regulars.

Nothing can be much uglier than the State House at Harrisburg, but
it commands a magnificent view of one of the valleys into which the
Alleghany Mountains is broken. Harrisburg is immediately under the
range, probably at its finest point, and the railway running west
from the town to Pittsburg, Cincinnati, and Chicago, passes right
over the chain. The line has been magnificently engineered, and the
scenery is very grand. I went over the Alleghanies in midwinter,
when they were covered with snow, but even when so seen they were
very fine. The view down the valley from Altoona, a point near the
summit, must in summer be excessively lovely. I stopped at Altoona
one night, with the object of getting about among the hills and
making the best of the winter view but I found it impossible to
walk. The snow had become frozen and was like glass. I could not
progress a mile in any way. With infinite labor I climbed to the
top of one little hill, and when there became aware that the descent
would be very much more difficult. I did get down, but should not
choose to describe the manner in which I accomplished the descent.

In running down the mountains to Pittsburg an accident occurred
which in any other country would have thrown the engine off the
line, and have reduced the carriages behind the engine to a heap of
ruins. But here it had no other effect than that of delaying us for
three or four hours. The tire of one of the heavy driving wheels
flew off, and in the shock the body of the wheel itself was broken,
one spoke and a portion of the circumference of the wheel was
carried away, and the steam-chamber was ripped open. Nevertheless
the train was pulled up, neither the engine nor any of the carriages
got off the line, and the men in charge of the train seemed to think
very lightly of the matter. I was amused to see how little was made
of the affair by any of the passengers. In England a delay of three
hours would in itself produce a great amount of grumbling, or at
least many signs of discomfort and temporary unhappiness. But here
no one said a word. Some of the younger men got out and looked at
the ruined wheel; but the most of the passengers kept their seats,
chewed their tobacco, and went to sleep. In all such matters an
American is much more patient than an Englishman. To sit quiet,
without speech, and ruminate in some contorted position of body
comes to him by nature. On this occasion I did not hear a word of
complaint--nor yet a word of surprise or thankfulness that the
accident had been attended with no serious result. "I have got a
furlough for ten days," one soldier said to me, "and I have missed
every connection all through from Washington here. I shall have
just time to turn round and go back when I get home." But he did
not seem to be in any way dissatisfied. He had not referred to his
relatives when he spoke of "missing his connections," but to his
want of good fortune as regarded railway traveling. He had reached
Baltimore too late for the train on to Harrisburg, and Harrisburg
too late for the train on to Pittsburg. Now he must again reach
Pittsburg too late for his further journey. But nevertheless he
seemed to be well pleased with his position.

Pittsburg is the Merthyr-Tydvil of Pennsylvania--or perhaps I should
better describe it as an amalgamation of Swansea, Merthyr-Tydvil,
and South Shields. It is, without exception, the blackest place
which I ever saw. The three English towns which I have named are
very dirty, but all their combined soot and grease and dinginess do
not equal that of Pittsburg. As regards scenery it is beautifully
situated, being at the foot of the Alleghany Mountains, and at the
juncture of the two rivers Monongahela and Alleghany. Here, at the
town, they come together, and form the River Ohio. Nothing can be
more picturesque than the site, for the spurs of the mountains come
down close round the town, and the rivers are broad and swift, and
can be seen for miles from heights which may be reached in a short
walk. Even the filth and wondrous blackness of the place are
picturesque when looked down upon from above. The tops of the
churches are visible, and some of the larger buildings may be
partially traced through the thick, brown, settled smoke. But the
city itself is buried in a dense cloud. The atmosphere was
especially heavy when I was there, and the effect was probably
increased by the general darkness of the weather. The Monongahela
is crossed by a fine bridge, and on the other side the ground rises
at once, almost with the rapidity of a precipice; so that a
commanding view is obtained down upon the town and the two rivers
and the different bridges, from a height immediately above them. I
was never more in love with smoke and dirt than when I stood here
and watched the darkness of night close in upon the floating soot
which hovered over the house-tops of the city. I cannot say that I
saw the sun set, for there was no sun. I should say that the sun
never shone at Pittsburg, as foreigners who visit London in November
declare that the sun never shines there.

Walking along the river side I counted thirty-two steamers, all
beached upon the shore, with their bows toward the land--large
boats, capable probably of carrying from one to two hundred
passengers each, and about three hundred tons of merchandise. On
inquiry I found that many of these were not now at work. They were
resting idle, the trade down the Mississippi below St. Louis having
been cut off by the war. Many of them, however, were still running,
the passage down the river being open to Wheeling in Virginia, to
Portsmouth, Cincinnati, and the whole of South Ohio, to Louisville
in Kentucky, and to Cairo in Illinois, where the Ohio joins the
Mississippi. The amount of traffic carried on by these boats while
the country was at peace within itself was very great, and
conclusive as to the increasing prosperity of the people. It seems
that everybody travels in America, and that nothing is thought of
distance. A young man will step into a car and sit beside you, with
that easy careless air which is common to a railway passenger in
England who is passing from one station to the next; and on
conversing with him you will find that he is going seven or eight
hundred miles. He is supplied with fresh newspapers three or four
times a day as he passes by the towns at which they are published;
he eats a large assortment of gum-drops and apples, and is quite as
much at home as in his own house. On board the river boats it is
the same with him, with this exception, that when there he can get
whisky when he wants it. He knows nothing of the ennui of
traveling, and never seems to long for the end of his journey, as
travelers do with us. Should his boat come to grief upon the river,
and lay by for a day or a night, it does not in the least disconcert
him. He seats himself upon three chairs, takes a bite of tobacco,
thrusts his hand into his trowsers pockets, and revels in an elysium
of his own.

I was told that the stockholders in these boats were in a bad way at
the present time. There were no dividends going. The same story
was repeated as to many and many an investment. Where the war
created business, as it had done on some of the main lines of
railroad and in some special towns, money was passing very freely;
but away from this, ruin seemed to have fallen on the enterprise of
the country. Men were not broken hearted, nor were they even
melancholy; but they were simply ruined. That is nothing in the
States, so long as the ruined man has the means left to him of
supplying his daily wants till he can start himself again in life.
It is almost the normal condition of the American man in business;
and therefore I am inclined to think that when this war is over, and
things begin to settle themselves into new grooves, commerce will
recover herself more quickly there than she would do among any other
people. It is so common a thing to hear of an enterprise that has
never paid a dollar of interest on the original outlay--of hotels,
canals, railroads, banks, blocks of houses, etc. that never paid
even in the happy days of peace--that one is tempted to disregard
the absence of dividends, and to believe that such a trifling
accident will not act as any check on future speculation. In no
country has pecuniary ruin been so common as in the States; but then
in no country is pecuniary ruin so little ruinous. "We are a
recuperative people," a west-country gentleman once said to me. I
doubted the propriety of his word, but I acknowledged the truth of
his assertion.

Pittsburg and Alleghany--which latter is a town similar in its
nature to Pittsburg, on the other side of the river of the same
name--regard themselves as places apart; but they are in effect one
and the same city. They live under the same blanket of soot, which
is woven by the joint efforts of the two places. Their united
population is 135,000, of which Alleghany owns about 50,000. The
industry of the towns is of that sort which arises from a union of
coal and iron in the vicinity. The Pennsylvanian coal fields are
the most prolific in the Union; and Pittsburg is therefore great,
exactly as Merthyr-Tydvil and Birmingham are great. But the
foundery work at Pittsburg is more nearly allied to the heavy, rough
works of the Welsh coal metropolis than to the finish and polish of

"Why cannot you consume your own smoke?" I asked a gentleman there.
"Fuel is so cheap that it would not pay," he answered. His idea of
the advantage of consuming smoke was confined to the question of its
paying as a simple operation in itself. The consequent cleanliness
and improvement in the atmosphere had not entered into his
calculations. Any such result might be a fortuitous benefit, but
was not of sufficient importance to make any effort in that
direction expedient on its own account. "Coal was burned," he said,
"in the founderies at something less than two dollars a ton; while
that was the case, it could not answer the purpose of any iron-
founder to put up an apparatus for the consumption of smoke?" I did
not pursue the argument any further, as I perceived that we were
looking at the matter from two different points of view.

Everything in the hotel was black; not black to the eye, for the eye
teaches itself to discriminate colors even when loaded with dirt,
but black to the touch. On coming out of a tub of water my foot
took an impress from the carpet exactly as it would have done had I
trod barefooted on a path laid with soot. I thought that I was
turning negro upward, till I put my wet hand upon the carpet, and
found that the result was the same. And yet the carpet was green to
the eye--a dull, dingy green, but still green. "You shouldn't damp
your feet," a man said to me, to whom I mentioned the catastrophe.
Certainly, Pittsburg is the dirtiest place I ever saw; but it is, as
I said before, very picturesque in its dirt when looked at from
above the blanket.

From Pittsburg I went on by train to Cincinnati, and was soon in the
State of Ohio. I confess that I have never felt any great regard
for Pennsylvania. It has always had, in my estimation, a low
character for commercial honesty, and a certain flavor of
pretentious hypocrisy. This probably has been much owing to the
acerbity and pungency of Sydney Smith's witty denunciations against
the drab-colored State. It is noted for repudiation of its own
debts, and for sharpness in exaction of its own bargains. It has
been always smart in banking. It has given Buchanan as a President
to the country, and Cameron as a Secretary of War to the government!
When the battle of Bull's Run was to be fought, Pennsylvanian
soldiers were the men who, on that day, threw down their arms
because the three months' term for which they had been enlisted was
then expired! Pennsylvania does not, in my mind, stand on a par
with Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Illinois, or Virginia.
We are apt to connect the name of Benjamin Franklin with
Pennsylvania, but Franklin was a Boston man. Nevertheless,
Pennsylvania is rich and prosperous. Indeed it bears all those
marks which Quakers generally leave behind them.

I had some little personal feeling in visiting Cincinnati, because
my mother had lived there for some time, and had there been
concerned in a commercial enterprise, by which no one, I believe,
made any great sum of money. Between thirty and forty years ago she
built a bazaar in Cincinnati, which, I was assured by the present
owner of the house, was at the time of its erection considered to be
the great building of the town. It has been sadly eclipsed now, and
by no means rears its head proudly among the great blocks around it.
It had become a "Physio-medical Institute" when I was there, and was
under the dominion of a quack doctor on one side, and of a college
of rights of women female medical professors on the other. "I
believe, sir, no man or woman ever yet made a dollar in that
building; and as for rent, I don't even expect it." Such was the
account given of the unfortunate bazaar by the present proprietor.

Cincinnati has long been known as a great town--conspicuous among
all towns for the number of hogs which are there killed, salted, and
packed. It is the great hog metropolis of the Western States; but
Cincinnati has not grown with the rapidity of other towns. It has
now 170,000 inhabitants, but then it got an early start. St. Louis,
which is west of it again near the confluence of the Missouri and
Mississippi, has gone ahead of it. Cincinnati stands on the Ohio
River, separated by a ferry from Kentucky, which is a slave State,
Ohio itself is a free-soil State. When the time comes for arranging
the line of division, if such time shall ever come, it will be very
hard to say where Northern feeling ends and where Southern wishes
commence. Newport and Covington, which are in Kentucky, are suburbs
of Cincinnati; and yet in these places slavery is rife. The
domestic servants are mostly slaves, though it is essential that
those so kept should be known as slaves who will not run away. It
is understood that a slave who escapes into Ohio will not be caught
and given up by the intervention of the Ohio police; and from
Covington or Newport any slave with ease can escape into Ohio. But
when that division takes place, no river like the Ohio can form the
boundary between the divided nations. Such rivers are the highways,
round which in this country people have clustered themselves. A
river here is not a natural barrier, but a connecting street. It
would be as well to make a railway a division, or the center line of
a city a national boundary. Kentucky and Ohio States are joined
together by the Ohio River, with Cincinnati on one side and
Louisville on the other; and I do not think that man's act can upset
these ties of nature. But between Kentucky and Tennessee there is
no such bond of union. There a mathematical line has been simply
drawn, a continuation of that line which divides Virginia from North
Carolina, to which two latter States Kentucky and Tennessee belonged
when the thirteen original States first formed themselves into a
Union. But that mathematical line has offered no peculiar
advantages to population. No great towns cluster there, and no
strong social interests would be dissevered should Kentucky throw in
her lot with the North, and Tennessee with the South; but Kentucky
owns a quarter of a million of slaves, and those slaves must either
be emancipated or removed before such a junction can be firmly

The great business of Cincinnati is hog killing now, as it used to
be in the old days of which I have so often heard. It seems to be
an established fact, that in this portion of the world the porcine
genus are all hogs. One never hears of a pig. With us a trade in
hogs and pigs is subject to some little contumely. There is a
feeling, which has perhaps never been expressed in words, but which
certainly exists, that these animals are not so honorable in their
bearings as sheep and oxen. It is a prejudice which by no means
exists in Cincinnati. There hog killing and salting and packing is
very honorable, and the great men in the trade are the merchant
princes of the city. I went to see the performance, feeling it to
be a duty to inspect everywhere that which I found to be of most
importance; but I will not describe it. There were a crowd of men
operating, and I was told that the point of honor was to "put
through" a hog a minute. It must be understood that the animal
enters upon the ceremony alive, and comes out in that cleanly,
disemboweled guise in which it may sometimes be seen hanging up
previous to the operation of the pork butcher's knife. To one
special man was appointed a performance which seemed to be specially
disagreeable, so that he appeared despicable in my eyes; but when on
inquiry I learned that he earned five dollars (or a pound sterling)
a day, my judgment as to his position was reversed. And, after all,
what matters the ugly nature of such an occupation when a man is
used to it?

Cincinnati is like all other American towns, with second, third, and
fourth streets, seventh, eighth, and ninth streets, and so on. Then
the cross streets are named chiefly from trees. Chestnut, walnut,
locust, etc. I do not know whence has come this fancy for naming
streets after trees in the States, but it is very general. The town
is well built, with good fronts to many of the houses, with large
shops and larger stores; of course also with an enormous hotel,
which has never paid anything like a proper dividend to the
speculator who built it. It is always the same story. But these
towns shame our provincial towns by their breadth and grandeur. I
am afraid that speculators with us are trammeled by an "ignorant
impatience of ruin." I should not myself like to live in Cincinnati
or in any of these towns. They are slow, dingy, and uninteresting;
but they all possess an air of substantial, civic dignity. It must,
however, be remembered that the Americans live much more in towns
than we do. All with us that are rich and aristocratic and
luxurious live in the country, frequenting the metropolis for only a
portion of the year. But all that are rich and aristocratic and
luxurious in the States live in the towns. Our provincial towns are
not generally chosen as the residences of our higher classes.

Cincinnati has 170,000 inhabitants, and there are 14,000 children at
the free schools--which is about one in twelve of the whole
population. This number gives the average of scholars throughout
the year ended 30th of June, 1861. But there are other schools in
Cincinnati--parish schools and private schools--and it is stated to
me that there were in all 32,000 children attending school in the
city throughout the year. The education at the State schools is
very good. Thirty-four teachers are employed, at an average salary
of 92l. each, ranging from 260l. to 60l. per annum. It is in this
matter of education that the cities of the free States of America
have done so much for the civilization and welfare of their
population. This fact cannot be repeated in their praise too often.
Those who have the management of affairs, who are at the top of the
tree, are desirous of giving to all an opportunity of raising
themselves in the scale of human beings. I dislike universal
suffrage; I dislike votes by ballot; I dislike above all things the
tyranny of democracy. But I do like the political feeling--for it
is a political feeling--which induces every educated American to
lend a hand to the education of his fellow-citizens. It shows, if
nothing else does so, a germ of truth in that doctrine of equality.
It is a doctrine to be forgiven when he who preaches it is in truth
striving to raise others to his own level; though utterly
unpardonable when the preacher would pull down others to his level.

Leaving Cincinnati, I again entered a slave State--namely, Kentucky.
When the war broke out, Kentucky took upon itself to say that it
would be neutral, as if neutrality in such a position could by any
means have been possible! Neutrality on the borders of secession,
on the battle-field of the coming contest, was of course impossible.
Tennessee, to the south, had joined the South by a regular secession
ordinance. Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana, to the north, were of
course true to the Union. Under these circumstances it became
necessary that Kentucky should choose her side. With the exception
of the little State of Delaware, in which from her position
secession would have been impossible, Kentucky was, I think, less
inclined to rebellion, more desirous of standing by the North, than
any other of the slave States. She did all she could, however, to
put off the evil day of so evil a choice. Abolition within her
borders was held to be abominable as strongly as it was so held in
Georgia. She had no sympathy, and could have none, with the
teachings and preachings of Massachusetts. But she did not wish to
belong to a confederacy of which the Northern States were to be the
declared enemy, and be the border State of the South under such
circumstances. She did all she could for personal neutrality. She
made that effort for general reconciliation of which I have spoken
as the Crittenden Compromise. But compromises and reconciliation
were not as yet possible, and therefore it was necessary that she
should choose her part. Her governor declared for secession, and at
first also her legislature was inclined to follow the governor. But
no overt act of secession by the State was committed, and at last it
was decided that Kentucky should be declared to be loyal. It was in
fact divided. Those on the southern border joined the
secessionists; whereas the greater portion of the State, containing
Frankfort, the capital, and the would-be secessionist governor, who
lived there, joined the North. Men in fact became Unionists or
secessionists not by their own conviction, but through the necessity
of their positions; and Kentucky, through the necessity of her
position, became one of the scenes of civil war.

I must confess that the difficulty of the position of the whole
country seems to me to have been under-estimated in England. In
common life it is not easy to arrange the circumstances of a divorce
between man and wife, all whose belongings and associations have for
many years been in common. Their children, their money, their
house, their friends, their secrets have been joint property, and
have formed bonds of union. But yet such quarrels may arise, such
mutual antipathy, such acerbity and even ill usage, that all who
know them admit that a separation is needed. So it is here in the
States. Free soil and slave soil could, while both were young and
unused to power, go on together--not without many jars and unhappy
bickerings, but they did go on together. But now they must part;
and how shall the parting be made? With which side shall go this
child, and who shall remain in possession of that pleasant
homestead? Putting secession aside, there were in the United States
two distinct political doctrines, of which the extremes were opposed
to each other as pole is opposed to pole. We have no such variance
of creed, no such radical difference as to the essential rules of
life between parties in our country. We have no such cause for
personal rancor in our Parliament as has existed for some years past
in both Houses of Congress. These two extreme parties were the
slaveowners of the South and the abolitionists of the North and
West. Fifty years ago the former regarded the institution of
slavery as a necessity of their position--generally as an evil
necessity, and generally also as a custom to be removed in the
course of years. Gradually they have learned to look upon slavery
as good in itself, and to believe that it has been the source of
their wealth and the strength of their position. They have declared
it to be a blessing inalienable, that should remain among them
forever as an inheritance not to be touched and not to be spoken of
with hard words. Fifty years ago the abolitionists of the North
differed only in opinion from the slave owners of the South in
hoping for a speedier end to this stain upon the nation, and in
thinking that some action should be taken toward the final
emancipation of the bondsmen. But they also have progressed; and,
as the Southern masters have called the institution blessed, they
have called it accursed. Their numbers have increased, and with
their numbers their power and their violence. In this way two
parties have been formed who could not look on each other without
hatred. An intermediate doctrine has been held by men who were
nearer in their sympathies to the slaveowners than to the
abolitionists, but who were not disposed to justify slavery as a
thing apart. These men have been aware that slavery has existed in
accordance with the Constitution of their country, and have been
willing to attach the stain which accompanies the institution to the
individual State which entertains it, and not to the national
government by which the question has been constitutionally ignored.
The men who have participated in the government have naturally been
inclined toward the middle doctrine; but as the two extremes have
retreated farther from each other, the power of this middle class of
politicians has decreased. Mr. Lincoln, though he does not now
declare himself an abolitionist, was elected by the abolitionists;
and when, as a consequence of that election, secession was
threatened, no step which he could have taken would have satisfied
the South which had opposed him, and been at the same time true to
the North which had chosen him. But it was possible that his
government might save Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, and Missouri.
As Radicals in England become simple Whigs when they are admitted
into public offices, so did Mr. Lincoln with his government become
anti-abolitionist when he entered on his functions. Had he combated
secession with emancipation of the slaves, no slave State would or
could have held by the Union. Abolition for a lecturer may be a
telling subject. It is easy to bring down rounds of applause by
tales of the wrongs of bondage. But to men in office abolition was
too stern a reality. It signified servile insurrection, absolute
ruin to all Southern slaveowners, and the absolute enmity of every
slave State.

But that task of steering between the two has been very difficult.
I fear that the task of so steering with success is almost
impossible. In England it is thought that Mr. Lincoln might have
maintained the Union by compromising matters with the South--or, if
not so, that he might have maintained peace by yielding to the
South. But no such power was in his hands. While we were blaming
him for opposition to all Southern terms, his own friends in the
North were saying that all principle and truth was abandoned for the
sake of such States as Kentucky and Missouri. "Virginia is gone;
Maryland cannot go. And slavery is endured, and the new virtue of
Washington is made to tamper with the evil one, in order that a show
of loyalty may be preserved in one or two States which, after all,
are not truly loyal!" That is the accusation made against the
government by the abolitionists; and that made by us, on the other
side, is the reverse. I believe that Mr. Lincoln had no alternative
but to fight, and that he was right also not to fight with abolition
as his battle-cry. That he may be forced by his own friends into
that cry, is, I fear, still possible. Kentucky, at any rate, did
not secede in bulk. She still sent her Senators to Congress. and
allowed herself to be reckoned among the stars in the American
firmament. But she could not escape the presence of the war. Did
she remain loyal, or did she secede, that was equally her fate.

The day before I entered Kentucky a battle was fought in that State,
which gave to the Northern arms their first actual victory. It was
at a place called Mill Spring, near Somerset, toward the south of
the State. General Zollicoffer, with a Confederate army numbering,
it was supposed, some eight thousand men, had advanced upon a
smaller Federal force, commanded by General Thomas, and had been
himself killed, while his army was cut to pieces and dispersed; the
cannon of the Confederates were taken, and their camp seized and
destroyed. Their rout was complete; but in this instance again the
advancing party had been beaten, as had, I believe, been the case in
all the actions hitherto fought throughout the war. Here, however,
had been an actual victory, and, it was not surprising that in
Kentucky loyal men should rejoice greatly, and begin to hope that
the Confederates would be beaten out of the State. Unfortunately,
however, General Zollicoffer's army had only been an offshoot from
the main rebel army in Kentucky. Buell, commanding the Federal
troops at Louisville, and Sydney Johnston, the Confederate general,
at Bowling Green, as yet remained opposite to each other, and the
work was still to be done.

I visited the little towns of Lexington and Frankfort, in Kentucky.
At the former I found in the hotel to which I went seventy-five
teamsters belonging to the army. They were hanging about the great
hall when I entered, and clustering round the stove in the middle of
the chamber; a dirty, rough, quaint set of men, clothed in a
wonderful variety of garbs, but not disorderly or loud. The
landlord apologized for their presence, alleging that other
accommodation could not be found for them in the town. He received,
he said, a dollar a day for feeding them, and for supplying them
with a place in which they could lie down. It did not pay him, but
what could he do? Such an apology from an American landlord was in
itself a surprising fact. Such high functionaries are, as a rule,
men inclined to tell a traveler that if he does not like the guests
among whom he finds himself, he may go elsewhere. But this landlord
had as yet filled the place for not more than two or three weeks,
and was unused to the dignity of his position. While I was at
supper, the seventy-five teamsters were summoned into the common
eating-room by a loud gong, and sat down to their meal at the public
table. They were very dirty; I doubt whether I ever saw dirtier
men; but they were orderly and well behaved, and but for their
extreme dirt might have passed as the ordinary occupants of a well-
filled hotel in the West. Such men, in the States, are less clumsy
with their knives and forks, less astray in an unused position, more
intelligent in adapting themselves to a new life than are Englishmen
of the same rank. It is always the same story. With us there is no
level of society. Men stand on a long staircase, but the crowd
congregates near the bottom, and the lower steps are very broad. In
America men stand upon a common platform, but the platform is raised
above the ground, though it does not approach in height the top of
our staircase. If we take the average altitude in the two
countries, we shall find that the American heads are the more
elevated of the two. I conceived rather an affection for those
dirty teamsters; they answered me civilly when I spoke to them, and
sat in quietness, smoking their pipes, with a dull and dirty but
orderly demeanor.

The country about Lexington is called the Blue Grass Region, and
boasts itself as of peculiar fecundity in the matter of pasturage.
Why the grass is called blue, or in what way or at what period it
becomes blue, I did not learn; but the country is very lovely and
very fertile. Between Lexington and Frankfort a large stock farm,
extending over three thousand acres, is kept by a gentleman who is
very well known as a breeder of horses, cattle, and sheep. He has
spent much money on it, and is making for himself a Kentucky
elysium. He was kind enough to entertain me for awhile, and showed
me something of country life in Kentucky. A farm in that part of
the State depends, and must depend, chiefly on slave labor. The
slaves are a material part of the estate, and as they are regarded
by the law as real property--being actually adstricti glebae--an
inheritor of land has no alternative but to keep them. A gentleman
in Kentucky does not sell his slaves. To do so is considered to be
low and mean, and is opposed to the aristocratic traditions of the
country. A man who does so willingly, puts himself beyond the pale
of good fellowship with his neighbors. A sale of slaves is regarded
as a sign almost of bankruptcy. If a man cannot pay his debts, his
creditors can step in and sell his slaves; but he does not himself
make the sale. When a man owns more slaves than he needs, he hires
them out by the year; and when he requires more than he owns, he
takes them on hire by the year. Care is taken in such hirings not
to remove a married man away from his home. The price paid for a
negro's labor at the time of my visit was about a hundred dollars,
or twenty pounds for the year; but this price was then extremely low
in consequence of the war disturbances. The usual price had been
about fifty or sixty per cent. above this. The man who takes the
negro on hire feeds him, clothes him, provides him with a bed, and
supplies him with medical attendance. I went into some of their
cottages on the estate which I visited, and was not in the least
surprised to find them preferable in size, furniture, and all
material comforts to the dwellings of most of our own agricultural
laborers. Any comparison between the material comfort of a Kentucky
slave and an English ditcher and delver would be preposterous. The
Kentucky slave never wants for clothing fitted to the weather. He
eats meat twice a day, and has three good meals; he knows no limit
but his own appetite; his work is light; he has many varieties of
amusement; he has instant medical assistance at all periods of
necessity for himself, his wife, and his children. Of course he
pays no rent, fears no baker, and knows no hunger. I would not have
it supposed that I conceive slavery with all these comforts to be
equal to freedom without them; nor do I conceive that the negro can
be made equal to the white man. But in discussing the condition of
the negro, it is necessary that we should understand what are the
advantages of which abolition would deprive him, and in what
condition he has been placed by the daily receipt of such
advantages. If a negro slave wants new shoes, he asks for them, and
receives them, with the undoubting simplicity of a child. Such a
state of things has its picturesquely patriarchal side; but what
would be the state of such a man if he were emancipated to-morrow?

The natural beauty of the place which I was visiting was very great.
The trees were fine and well scattered over the large, park-like
pastures, and the ground was broken on every side into hills. There
was perhaps too much timber, but my friend seemed to think that that
fault would find a natural remedy only too quickly. "I do not like
to cut down trees if I can help it," he said. After that I need not
say that my host was quite as much an Englishman as an American. To
the purely American farmer a tree is simply an enemy to be trodden
under foot, and buried underground, or reduced to ashes and thrown
to the winds with what most economical dispatch may be possible. If
water had been added to the landscape here it would have been
perfect, regarding it as ordinary English park-scenery. But the
little rivers at this place have a dirty trick of burying themselves
under the ground. They go down suddenly into holes, disappearing
from the upper air, and then come up again at the distance of
perhaps half a mile. Unfortunately their periods of seclusion are
more prolonged than those of their upper-air distance. There were
three or four such ascents and descents about the place.

My host was a breeder of race-horses, and had imported sires from
England; of sheep also, and had imported famous rams; of cattle too,
and was great in bulls. He was very loud in praise of Kentucky and
its attractions, if only this war could be brought to an end. But I
could not obtain from him an assurance that the speculation in which
he was engaged had been profitable. Ornamental farming in England
is a very pretty amusement for a wealthy man, but I fancy--without
intending any slight on Mr. Mechi--that the amusement is expensive.
I believe that the same thing may be said of it in a slave State.

Frankfort is the capital of Kentucky, and is as quietly dull a
little town as I ever entered. It is on the River Kentucky, and as
the grounds about it on every side rise in wooded hills, it is a
very pretty place. In January it was very pretty, but in summer it
must be lovely. I was taken up to the cemetery there by a path
along the river, and am inclined to say that it is the sweetest
resting-place for the dead that I have ever visited. Daniel Boone
lies there. He was the first white man who settled in Kentucky; or
rather, perhaps, the first who entered Kentucky with a view to a
white man's settlement. Such frontier men as was Daniel Boone never
remained long contented with the spots they opened. As soon as he
had left his mark in that territory he went again farther west, over
the big rivers into Missouri, and there he died. But the men of
Kentucky are proud of Daniel Boone, and so they have buried him in
the loveliest spot they could select, immediately over the river.
Frankfort is worth a visit, if only that this grave and graveyard
may be seen. The legislature of the State was not sitting when I
was there, and the grass was growing in the streets.

Louisville is the commercial city of the State, and stands on the
Ohio. It is another great town, like all the others, built with
high stores, and great houses and stone-faced blocks. I have no
doubt that all the building speculations have been failures, and
that the men engaged in them were all ruined. But there, as the
result of their labor, stands a fair great city on the southern
banks of the Ohio. Here General Buell held his headquarters, but
his army lay at a distance. On my return from the West I visited
one of the camps of this army, and will speak of it as I speak of my
backward journey. I had already at this time begun to conceive an
opinion that the armies in Kentucky and in Missouri would do at any
rate as much for the Northern cause as that of the Potomac, of which
so much more had been heard in England.

While I was at Louisville the Ohio was flooded. It had begun to
rise when I was at Cincinnati, and since then had gone on increasing
hourly, rising inch by inch up into the towns upon its bank. I
visited two suburbs of Louisville, both of which were submerged, as
to the streets and ground floors of the houses. At Shipping Port,
one of these suburbs, I saw the women and children clustering in the
up-stairs room, while the men were going about in punts and
wherries, collecting drift-wood from the river for their winter's
firing. In some places bedding and furniture had been brought over
to the high ground, and the women were sitting, guarding their
little property. That village, amid the waters, was a sad sight to
see; but I heard no complaints. There was no tearing of hair and no
gnashing of teeth; no bitter tears or moans of sorrow. The men who
were not at work in the boats stood loafing about in clusters,
looking at the still rising river, but each seemed to be personally
indifferent to the matter. When the house of an American is carried
down the river, he builds himself another, as he would get himself a
new coat when his old coat became unserviceable. But he never
laments or moans for such a loss. Surely there is no other people
so passive under personal misfortune!

Going from Louisville up to St. Louis, I crossed the Ohio River and
passed through parts of Indiana and of Illinois, and, striking the
Mississippi opposite St. Louis, crossed that river also, and then
entered the State of Missouri. The Ohio was, as I have said,
flooded, and we went over it at night. The boat had been moored at
some unaccustomed place. There was no light. The road was deep in
mud up to the axle-tree, and was crowded with wagons and carts,
which in the darkness of the night seemed to have stuck there. But
the man drove his four horses through it all, and into the ferry-
boat, over its side. There were three or four such omnibuses, and
as many wagons, as to each of which I predicted in my own mind some
fatal catastrophe. But they were all driven on to the boat in the
dark, the horses mixing in through each other in a chaos which would
have altogether incapacitated any English coachman. And then the
vessel labored across the flood, going sideways, and hardly keeping
her own against the stream. But we did get over, and were all
driven out again, up to the railway station in safety. On reaching
the Mississippi about the middle of the next day, we found it frozen
over, or rather covered from side to side with blocks of ice which
had forced their way down the river, so that the steam-ferry could
not reach its proper landing. I do not think that we in England
would have attempted the feat of carrying over horses and carriages
under stress of such circumstances. But it was done here. Huge
plankings were laid down over the ice, and omnibuses and wagons were
driven on. In getting out again, these vehicles, each with four
horses, had to be twisted about, and driven in and across the
vessel, and turned in spaces to look at which would have broken the
heart of an English coachman. And then with a spring they were
driven up a bank as steep as a ladder! Ah me! under what mistaken
illusions have I not labored all the days of my youth, in supposing
that no man could drive four horses well but an English stage
coachman! I have seen performances in America--and in Italy and
France also, but above all in America--which would have made the
hair of any English professional driver stand on end.

And in this way I entered St. Louis.



Missouri is a slave State, lying to the west of the Mississippi and
to the north of Arkansas. It forms a portion of the territory ceded
by France to the United States in 1803. Indeed, it is difficult to
say how large a portion of the continent of North America is
supposed to be included in that territory. It contains the States
of Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, and Kansas, as also the present
Indian Territory; but it also is said to have contained all the land
lying back from them to the Rocky Mountains, Utah, Nebraska, and
Dakota, and forms no doubt the widest dominion ever ceded by one
nationality to another.

Missouri lies exactly north of the old Missouri compromise line--
that is, 36.30 north. When the Missouri compromise was made it was
arranged that Missouri should be a slave State, but that no other
State north of the 36.30 line should ever become slave soil.
Kentucky and Virginia, as also of course Maryland and Delaware, four
of the old slave States, were already north of that line; but the
compromise was intended to prevent the advance of slavery in the
Northwest. The compromise has been since annulled, on the ground, I
believe, that Congress had not constitutionally the power to declare
that any soil should be free, or that any should be slave soil.
That is a question to be decided by the States themselves, as each
individual State may please. So the compromise was repealed. But
slavery has not on that account advanced. The battle has been
fought in Kansas, and, after a long and terrible struggle, Kansas
has come out of the fight as a free State. Kansas is in the same
parallel of latitude as Virginia, and stretches west as far as the
Rocky Mountains,

When the census of the population of Missouri was taken in 1860, the
slaves amounted to ten per cent. of the whole number. In the Gulf
States the slave population is about forty-five per cent. of the
whole. In the three border States of Kentucky, Virginia, and
Maryland, the slaves amount to thirty per cent. of the whole
population. From these figures it will be seen that Missouri, which
is comparatively a new slave State, has not gone ahead with slavery
as the old slave States have done, although from its position and
climate, lying as far south as Virginia, it might seem to have had
the same reasons for doing so. I think there is every reason to
believe that slavery will die out in Missouri. The institution is
not popular with the people generally; and as white labor becomes
abundant--and before the war it was becoming abundant--men recognize
the fact that the white man's labor is the more profitable. The
heat in this State, in midsummer, is very great, especially in the
valleys of the rivers. At St. Louis, on the Mississippi, it reaches
commonly to ninety degrees, and very frequently goes above that.
The nights, moreover, are nearly as hot as the days; but this great
heat does not last for any very long period, and it seems that white
men are able to work throughout the year. If correspondingly severe
weather in winter affords any compensation to the white man for what
of heat he endures during the summer, I can testify that such
compensation is to be found in Missouri. When I was there we were
afflicted with a combination of snow, sleet, frost, and wind, with a
mixture of ice and mud, that makes me regard Missouri as the most
inclement land into which I ever penetrated.

St. Louis, on the Mississippi, is the great town of Missouri, and is
considered by the Missourians to be the star of the West. It is not
to be beaten in population, wealth, or natural advantages by any
other city so far west; but it has not increased with such rapidity
as Chicago, which is considerably to the north of it, on Lake
Michigan. Of the great Western cities I regard Chicago as the most
remarkable, seeing that St. Louis was a large town before Chicago
had been founded.

The population of St. Louis is 170,000. Of this number only 2000
are slaves. I was told that a large proportion of the slaves of
Missouri are employed near the Missouri River in breaking hemp. The
growth of hemp is very profitably carried on in that valley, and the
labor attached to it is one which white men do not like to
encounter. Slaves are not generally employed in St. Louis for
domestic service as is done almost universally in the towns of
Kentucky. This work is chiefly in the hands of Irish and Germans.
Considerably above one-third of the population of the whole city is
made up of these two nationalities. So much is confessed; but if I
were to form an opinion from the language I heard in the streets of
the town, I should say that nearly every man was either an Irishman
or a German.

St. Louis has none of the aspects of a slave city. I cannot say
that I found it an attractive place; but then I did not visit it at
an attractive time. The war had disturbed everything, given a
special color of its own to men's thoughts and words, and destroyed
all interest except that which might proceed from itself. The town
is well built, with good shops, straight streets, never-ending rows
of excellent houses, and every sign of commercial wealth and
domestic comfort--of commercial wealth and domestic comfort in the
past, for there was no present appearance either of comfort or of
wealth. The new hotel here was to be bigger than all the hotels of
all other towns. It is built, and is an enormous pile, and would be
handsome but for a terribly ambitious Grecian doorway. It is built,
as far as the walls and roof are concerned, but in all other
respects is unfinished. I was told that the shares of the original
stockholders were now worth nothing. A shareholder, who so told me,
seemed to regard this as the ordinary course of business.

The great glory of the town is the "levee," as it is called, or the
long river beach up to which the steamers are brought with their
bows to the shore. It is an esplanade looking on to the river, not
built with quays or wharves, as would be the case with us, but with
a sloping bank running down to the water. In the good days of peace
a hundred vessels were to be seen here, each with its double
funnels. The line of them seemed to be never ending even when I was
there, but then a very large proportion of them were lying idle.
They resemble huge, wooden houses, apparently of frail architecture,
floating upon the water. Each has its double row of balconies
running round it, and the lower or ground floor is open throughout.
The upper stories are propped and supported on ugly sticks and
rickety-looking beams; so that the first appearance does not convey
any great idea of security to a stranger. They are always painted
white, and the paint is always very dirty. When they begin to move,
they moan and groan in melancholy tones which are subversive of all
comfort; and as they continue on their courses they puff and
bluster, and are forever threatening to burst and shatter themselves
to pieces. There they lie, in a continuous line nearly a mile in
length, along the levee of St. Louis, dirty, dingy, and now, alas!
mute. They have ceased to groan and puff, and, if this war be
continued for six months longer, will become rotten and useless as
they lie.

They boast at St. Louis that they command 46,000 miles of navigable
river water, counting the great rivers up and down from that place.
These rivers are chiefly the Mississippi; the Missouri and Ohio,
which fall into the Mississippi near St. Louis; the Platte and
Kansas Rivers, tributaries of the Missouri; the Illinois, and the
Wisconsin. All these are open to steamers, and all of them traverse
regions rich in corn, in coal, in metals, or in timber. These
ready-made highways of the world center, as it were, at St. Louis,
and make it the depot of the carrying trade of all that vast
country. Minnesota is 1500 miles above New Orleans, but the wheat
of Minnesota can be brought down the whole distance without change
of the vessel in which it is first deposited. It would seem to be
impossible that a country so blessed should not become rich. It
must be remembered that these rivers flow through lands that have
never yet been surpassed in natural fertility. Of all countries in
the world one would say that the States of America should have been
the last to curse themselves with a war; but now the curse has
fallen upon them with a double vengeance, it would seem that they
could never be great in war: their very institutions forbid it;
their enormous distances forbid it; the price of labor forbids it;
and it is forbidden also by the career of industry and expansion
which has been given to them. But the curse of fighting has come
upon them, and they are showing themselves to be as eager in the
works of war as they have shown themselves capable in the works of
peace. Men and angels must weep as they behold the things that are
being done, as they watch the ruin that has come and is still
coming, as they look on commerce killed and agriculture suspended.
No sight so sad has come upon the earth in our days. They were a
great people; feeding the world, adding daily to the mechanical
appliances of mankind, increasing in population beyond all measures
of such increase hitherto known, and extending education as fast as
they extended their numbers. Poverty had as yet found no place
among them, and hunger was an evil of which they had read but were
themselves ignorant. Each man among their crowds had a right to be
proud of his manhood. To read and write--I am speaking here of the
North--was as common as to eat and drink. To work was no disgrace,
and the wages of work were plentiful. To live without work was the
lot of none. What blessing above these blessings was needed to make
a people great and happy? And now a stranger visiting them would
declare that they are wallowing in a very slough of despond. The
only trade open is the trade of war. The axe of the woodsman is at
rest; the plow is idle; the artificer has closed his shop. The roar
of the foundery is still heard because cannon are needed, and the
river of molten iron comes out as an implement of death. The stone-
cutter's hammer and the mason's trowel are never heard. The gold of
the country is hiding itself as though it had returned to its mother
earth, and the infancy of a paper currency has been commenced. Sick
soldiers, who have never seen a battle-field, are dying by hundreds
in the squalid dirt of their unaccustomed camps. Men and women talk
of war, and of war only. Newspapers full of the war are alone read.
A contract for war stores--too often a dishonest contract--is the
one path open for commercial enterprise. The young man must go to
the war or he is disgraced. The war swallows everything, and as yet
has failed to produce even such bitter fruits as victory or glory.
Must it not be said that a curse has fallen upon the land?

And yet I still hope that it may ultimately be for good. Through
water and fire must a nation be cleansed of its faults. It has been
so with all nations, though the phases of their trials have been
different. It did not seem to be well with us in Cromwell's early
days; nor was it well with us afterward in those disgraceful years
of the later Stuarts. We know how France was bathed in blood in her
effort to rid herself of her painted sepulcher of an ancient throne;
how Germany was made desolate, in order that Prussia might become a
nation. Ireland was poor and wretched till her famine came. Men
said it was a curse, but that curse has been her greatest blessing.
And so will it be here in the West. I could not but weep in spirit
as I saw the wretchedness around me--the squalid misery of the
soldiers, the inefficiency of their officers, the bickerings of
their rulers, the noise and threats, the dirt and ruin, the terrible
dishonesty of those who were trusted! These are things which made a
man wish that he were anywhere but there. But I do believe that God
is still over all, and that everything is working for good. These
things are the fire and water through which this nation must pass.
The course of this people had been too straight, and their way had
been too pleasant. That which to others had been ever difficult had
been made easy for them. Bread and meat had come to them as things
of course, and they hardly remembered to be thankful. "We,
ourselves, have done it," they declared aloud. "We are not as other
men. We are gods upon the earth. Whose arm shall be long enough to
stay us, or whose bolt shall be strong enough to strike us?"

Now they are stricken sore, and the bolt is from their own bow.
Their own hands have raised the barrier that has stayed them. They
have stumbled in their running, and are lying hurt upon the ground;
while they who have heard their boastings turn upon them with
ridicule, and laugh at them in their discomforture. They are
rolling in the mire, and cannot take the hand of any man to help
them. Though the hand of the by-stander may be stretched to them,
his face is scornful and his voice full of reproaches. Who has not
known that hour of misery when in the sullenness of the heart all
help has been refused, and misfortune has been made welcome to do
her worst? So is it now with those once United States. The man who
can see without inward tears the self-inflicted wounds of that
American people can hardly have within his bosom the tenderness of
an Englishman's heart.

But the strong runner will rise again to his feet, even though he be
stunned by his fall. He will rise again, and will have learned
something by his sorrow. His anger will pass away, and he will
again brace himself for his work. What great race has ever been won
by any man, or by any nation, without some such fall during its
course? Have we not all declared that some check to that career was
necessary? Men in their pursuit of intelligence had forgotten to be
honest; in struggling for greatness they had discarded purity. The
nation has been great, but the statesmen of the nation have been
little. Men have hardly been ambitious to govern, but they have
coveted the wages of governors. Corruption has crept into high
places--into places that should have been high--till of all holes
and corners in the land they have become the lowest. No public man
has been trusted for ordinary honesty. It is not by foreign voices,
by English newspapers or in French pamphlets, that the corruption of
American politicians has been exposed, but by American voices and by
the American press. It is to be heard on every side. Ministers of
the cabinet, senators, representatives, State legislatures, officers
of the army, officials of the navy, contractors of every grade--all
who are presumed to touch, or to have the power of touching public
money, are thus accused. For years it has been so. The word
politician has stunk in men's nostrils. When I first visited New
York, some three years since, I was warned not to know a man,
because he was a "politician." We in England define a man of a
certain class as a blackleg. How has it come about that in American
ears the word politician has come to bear a similar signification?

The material growth of the States has been so quick that the
political growth has not been able to keep pace with it. In
commerce, in education, in all municipal arrangements, in mechanical
skill, and also in professional ability the country has stalked on
with amazing rapidity; but in the art of governing, in all political
management and detail, it has made no advance. The merchants of our
country and of that country have for many years met on terms of
perfect equality; but it has never been so with their statesmen and
our statesmen, with their diplomatists and our diplomatists.
Lombard Street and Wall Street can do business with each other on
equal footing, but it is not so between Downing Street and the State
office at Washington. The science of statesmanship has yet to be
learned in the States, and certainly the highest lesson of that
science, which teaches that honesty is the best policy.

I trust that the war will have left such a lesson behind it. If it
do so, let the cost in money be what it may, that money will not
have been wasted. If the American people can learn the necessity of
employing their best men for their highest work--if they can
recognize these honest men, and trust them when they are so
recognized--then they may become as great in politics as they have
become great in commerce and in social institutions.

St. Louis, and indeed the whole State of Missouri, was at the time
of my visit under martial law. General Halleck was in command,
holding his headquarters at St. Louis, and carrying out, at any rate
as far as the city was concerned, what orders he chose to issue. I
am disposed to think that, situated as Missouri then was, martial
law was the best law. No other law could have had force in a town
surrounded by soldiers, and in which half of the inhabitants were
loyal to the existing government and half of them were in favor of
rebellion. The necessity for such power is terrible, and the power
itself in the hands of one man must be full of danger; but even that
is better than anarchy. I will not accuse General Halleck of
abusing his power, seeing that it is hard to determine what is the
abuse of such power and what its proper use. When we were at St.
Louis a tax was being gathered of 100l. a head from certain men
presumed to be secessionists; and, as the money was not of course
very readily paid, the furniture of these suspected secessionists
was being sold by auction. No doubt such a measure was by them
regarded as a great abuse. One gentleman informed me that, in
addition to this, certain houses of his had been taken by the
government at a fixed rent, and that the payment of the rent was now
refused unless he would take the oath of allegiance. He no doubt
thought that an abuse of power! But the worst abuse of such power
comes not at first, but with long usage.

Up to the time, however, at which I was at St. Louis, martial law
had chiefly been used in closing grog-shops and administering the
oath of allegiance to suspected secessionists. Something also had
been done in the way of raising money by selling the property of
convicted secessionists; and while I was there eight men were
condemned to be shot for destroying railway bridges. "But will they
be shot?" I asked of one of the officers. "Oh, yes. It will be
done quietly, and no one will know anything about it; we shall get
used to that kind of thing presently." And the inhabitants of
Missouri were becoming used to martial law. It is surprising how
quickly a people can reconcile themselves to altered circumstances,
when the change comes upon them without the necessity of any
expressed opinion on their own part. Personal freedom has been
considered as necessary to the American of the States as the air he
breathes. Had any suggestion been made to him of a suspension of
the privilege of habeas corpus, of a censorship of the press, or of
martial law, the American would have declared his willingness to die
on the floor of the House of Representatives, and have proclaimed
with ten million voices his inability to live under circumstances so
subversive of his rights as a man. And he would have thoroughly
believed the truth of his own assertions. Had a chance been given
of an argument on the matter, of stump speeches and caucus meetings,
these things could never have been done. But as it is, Americans
are, I think, rather proud of the suspension of the habeas corpus.
They point with gratification to the uniformly loyal tone of the
newspapers, remarking that any editor who should dare to give even a
secession squeak would immediately find himself shut up. And now
nothing but good is spoken of martial law. I thought it a nuisance
when I was prevented by soldiers from trotting my horse down
Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington; but I was assured by Americans
that such restrictions were very serviceable in a community. At St.
Louis martial law was quite popular. Why should not General Halleck
be as well able to say what was good for the people as any law or
any lawyer? He had no interest in the injury of the State, but
every interest in its preservation. "But what," I asked, "would be
the effect were he to tell you to put all your fires out at eight
o'clock?" "If he were so to order, we should do it; but we know
that he will not." But who does know to what General Halleck or
other generals may come, or how soon a curfew-bell may be ringing in
American towns? The winning of liberty is long and tedious; but the
losing it is a down-hill, easy journey.

It was here, in St. Louis, that General Fremont held his military
court. He was a great man here during those hundred days through
which his command lasted. He lived in a great house, had a body-
guard, was inaccessible as a great man should be, and fared
sumptuously every day. He fortified the city--or rather, he began
to do so. He constructed barracks here, and instituted military
prisons. The fortifications have been discontinued as useless, but
the barracks and the prisons remain. In the latter there were 1200
secessionist soldiers who had been taken in the State of Missouri.
"Why are they not exchanged?" I asked. "Because they are not
exactly soldiers," I was informed. "The secessionists do not
acknowledge them." "Then would it not be cheaper to let them go?"
"No," said my informant; "because in that case we would have to
catch them again." And so the 1200 remain in their wretched prison--
thinned from week to week and from day to day by prison disease and
prison death.

I went out twice to Benton Barracks, as the camp of wooden huts was
called, which General Fremont had erected near the fair-ground of
the city. This fair-ground, I was told, had been a pleasant place.
It had been constructed for the recreation of the city, and for the
purpose of periodical agricultural exhibitions. There is still in
it a pretty ornamented cottage, and in the little garden a solitary
Cupid stood, dismayed by the dirt and ruin around him. In the fair-
green are the round buildings intended for show cattle and
agricultural implements, but now given up to cavalry horses and
Parrott guns. But Benton Barracks are outside the fair-green. Here
on an open space, some half mile in length, two long rows of wooden
sheds have been built, opposite to each other, and behind them are
other sheds used for stabling and cooking places. Those in front
are divided, not into separate huts, but into chambers capable of
containing nearly two hundred men each. They were surrounded on the
inside by great wooden trays, in three tiers--and on each tray four
men were supposed to sleep. I went into one or two while the crowd
of soldiers was in them, but found it inexpedient to stay there
long. The stench of those places was foul beyond description.
Never in my life before had I been in a place so horrid to the eyes
and nose as Benton Barracks. The path along the front outside was
deep in mud. The whole space between the two rows of sheds was one
field of mud, so slippery that the foot could not stand. Inside and
outside every spot was deep in mud. The soldiers were mud-stained
from foot to sole. These volunteer soldiers are in their nature
dirty, as must be all men brought together in numerous bodies
without special appliances for cleanliness, or control and
discipline as to their personal habits. But the dirt of the men in
the Benton Barracks surpassed any dirt that I had hitherto seen.
Nor could it have been otherwise with them. They were surrounded by
a sea of mud, and the foul hovels in which they were made to sleep
and live were fetid with stench and reeking with filth. I had at
this time been joined by another Englishman, and we went through
this place together. When we inquired as to the health of the men,
we heard the saddest tales--of three hundred men gone out of one
regiment, of whole companies that had perished, of hospitals crowded
with fevered patients. Measles had been the great scourge of the
soldiers here--as it had also been in the army of the Potomac. I
shall not soon forget my visits to Benton Barracks. It may be that
our own soldiers were as badly treated in the Crimea; or that French
soldiers were treated worse in their march into Russia. It may be
that dirt and wretchedness, disease and listless idleness, a descent
from manhood to habits lower than those of the beasts, are necessary
in warfare. I have sometimes thought that it is so; but I am no
military critic, and will not say. This I say--that the degradation
of men to the state in which I saw the American soldiers in Benton
Barracks is disgraceful to humanity.

General Halleck was at this time commanding in Missouri, and was
himself stationed at St. Louis; but his active measures against the
rebels were going on to the right and to the left. On the left
shore of the Mississippi, at Cairo, in Illinois, a fleet of gun-
boats was being prepared to go down the river, and on the right an
army was advancing against Springfield, in the southwestern district
of Missouri, with the object of dislodging Price, the rebel
guerrilla leader there, and, if possible, of catching him. Price
had been the opponent of poor General Lyons, who was killed at
Wilson's Creek, near Springfield, and of General Fremont, who during
his hundred days had failed to drive him out of the State. This
duty had now been intrusted to General Curtis, who had for some time
been holding his headquarters at Rolla, half way between St. Louis
and Springfield. Fremont had built a fort at Rolla, and it had
become a military station. Over 10,000 men had been there at one
time, and now General Curtis was to advance from Rolla against Price
with something above that number of men. Many of them, however, had
already gone on, and others were daily being sent up from St. Louis.
Under these circumstances my friend and I, fortified with a letter
of introduction to General Curtis, resolved to go and see the army
at Rolla.

On our way down by the railway we encountered a young German
officer, an aide-de-camp of the Federals, and under his auspices we
saw Rolla to advantage. Our companions in the railway were chiefly
soldiers and teamsters. The car was crowded, and filled with
tobacco smoke, apple peel, and foul air. In these cars during the
winter there is always a large lighted stove, a stove that might
cook all the dinners for a French hotel, and no window is ever
opened. Among our fellow-travelers there was here and there a west-
country Missouri farmer going down, under the protection of the
advancing army, to look after the remains of his chattels--wild,
dark, uncouth, savage-looking men. One such hero I specially
remember, as to whom the only natural remark would be that one would
not like to meet him alone on a dark night. He was burly and big,
unwashed and rough, with a black beard, shorn some two months since.
He had sharp, angry eyes, and sat silent, picking his teeth with a
bowie knife. I met him afterward at the Rolla Hotel, and found that
he was a gentleman of property near Springfield. He was mild and
meek as a sucking dove, asked my advice as to the state of his
affairs, and merely guessed that things had been pretty rough with
him. Things had been pretty rough with him. The rebels had come
upon his land. House, fences, stock, and crop were all gone. His
homestead had been made a ruin, and his farm had been turned into a
wilderness. Everything was gone. He had carried his wife and
children off to Illinois, and had now returned, hoping that he might
get on in the wake of the army till he could see the debris of his
property. But even he did not seem disturbed. He did not bemoan
himself or curse his fate. "Things were pretty rough," he said; and
that was all that he did say.

It was dark when we got into Rolla. Everything had been covered
with snow, and everywhere the snow was frozen. We had heard that
there was a hotel, and that possibly we might get a bed-room there.
We were first taken to a wooden building, which we were told was the
headquarters of the army, and in one room we found a colonel with a
lot of soldiers loafing about, and in another a provost martial
attended by a newspaper correspondent. We were received with open
arms, and a suggestion was at once made that we were no doubt
picking up news for European newspapers. "Air you a son of the Mrs.
Trollope?" said the correspondent. "Then, sir, you are an accession
to Rolla." Upon which I was made to sit down, and invited to "loaf
about" at the headquarters as long as I might remain at Rolla.
Shortly, however, there came on a violent discussion about wagons.
A general had come in and wanted all the colonel's wagons, but the
colonel swore that he had none, declared how bitterly he was impeded
with sick men, and became indignant and reproachful. It was Brutus
and Cassius again; and as we felt ourselves in the way, and anxious
moreover to ascertain what might be the nature of the Rolla hotel,
we took up our heavy portmanteaus--for they were heavy--and with a
guide to show us the way, started off through the dark and over the
hill up to our inn. I shall never forget that walk. It was up hill
and down hill, with an occasional half-frozen stream across it. My
friend was impeded with an enormous cloak lined with fur, which in
itself was a burden for a coalheaver. Our guide, who was a clerk
out of the colonel's office, carried an umbrella and a small
dressing-bag, but we ourselves manfully shouldered our portmanteaus.
Sydney Smith declared that an Englishman only wasted his time in
training himself for gymnastic aptitudes, seeing that for a shilling
he could always hire a porter. Had Sydney Smith ever been at Rolla
he would have written differently. I could tell at great length how
I fell on my face in the icy snow, how my friend stuck in the frozen
mud when he essayed to jump the stream, and how our guide walked on
easily in advance, encouraging us with his voice from a distance.
Why is it that a stout Englishman bordering on fifty finds himself
in such a predicament as that? No Frenchman, no Italian, no German
would so place himself, unless under the stress of insurmountable
circumstances. No American would do so under any circumstances. As
I slipped about on the ice and groaned with that terrible fardle on
my back, burdened with a dozen shirts, and a suit of dress clothes,
and three pair of boots, and four or five thick volumes, and a set
of maps, and a box of cigars, and a washing tub, I confessed to
myself that I was a fool. What was I doing in such a galley as
that? Why had I brought all that useless lumber down to Rolla? Why
had I come to Rolla, with no certain hope even of shelter for a
night? But we did reach the hotel; we did get a room between us
with two bedsteads. And pondering over the matter in my mind, since
that evening, I have been inclined to think that the stout
Englishman is in the right of it. No American of my age and weight
will ever go through what I went through then, but I am not sure
that he does not in his accustomed career go through worse things
even than that. However, if I go to Rolla again during the war, I
will at any rate leave the books behind me.

What a night we spent in that inn! They who know America will be
aware that in all hotels there is a free admixture of different
classes. The traveler in Europe may sit down to dinner with his
tailor and shoemaker; but if so, his tailor and shoemaker have
dressed themselves as he dresses, and are prepared to carry
themselves according to a certain standard, which in exterior does
not differ from his own. In the large Eastern cities of the States,
such as Boston, New York, and Washington, a similar practice of life
is gradually becoming prevalent. There are various hotels for
various classes, and the ordinary traveler does not find himself at
the same table with a butcher fresh from the shambles. But in the
West there are no distinctions whatever. A man's a man for a' that
in the West, let the "a' that" comprise what it may of coarse attire
and unsophisticated manners. One soon gets used to it. In that inn
at Rolla was a public room, heated in the middle by a stove, and
round that we soon found ourselves seated in a company of soldiers,

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