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[483] thereby to rally the people to arms, and intending, if successful, to send the dupes to fight their brethren in the South.

Nay, more; there are rumors of a Peace Party in his Cabinet, and of a proposition there to revoke the Emancipation Proclamation and propose terms to the South. The leading newspapers of the North mention this, and not with disapprobation.

Nor are these all the agencies that time and events are bringing into play on the side of peace and the South.

The fall of Vicksburgh and Port Hudson was, according to those who are stirring the Northwestern people up to war, to open the way to market for them. Every English house in the American trade knows that the breadstuffs of Ohio and the North-west had, for years before the war, nearly ceased to pass by New-Orleans on the way to markets abroad. They went up to the Lakes, and so, via canal and rail, to Boston and New-York, for exportation to foreign countries. Can any one in the trade pretend that England would have taken a shipload more of American flour had the Mississippi been open all the war? Chicago, and not New-Orleans, has been the grand grain market of the West, and except London, it is the greatest in the world.

There was on the lower Mississippi a large trade in breadstuffs and provisions from the States above. This trade was chiefly with the planters of the South. But they have been despoiled, their plantations laid waste, their stock taken away, their houses burned, and they themselves banished. In short, those fighting farmers of the Upper Mississippi are likely soon to find out that it is Lincoln and his lieutenants, and nobody else, who has killed their goose of the golden eggs. Those cute “Buckeyes,” “Suckers,” and “Hoosiers,” as the denizens of Ohio and her sister States are called, are bound before long to discover this. And will the discovery be more likely to incline their hearts to peace, or to revive in them the war fervor? Not the latter certainly.

This disappointment will come upon these farmers with redoubled force by reason of the financial bearings there of the abundant harvest here. This is a point of view upon which I wish you would dwell with me for a moment.

Before this war the South sent annually to England some twelve or fifteen thousand shiploads of stuff, consisting chiefly, as is well known, of cotton, rice, tobacco, naval stores and the like. The war put a stop to all this. But since the war the crops have been short until now, so short as to give employment to nearly the whole fleet of ships in bringing meat and bread to your people from the Northern States. Notwithstanding the withdrawal from its regular business of the immense amount of shipping which was required annually to get the Southern crops to market, and notwithstanding the loss to commerce of that trade, neither the Customhouse receipts of the nation, nor its shipping interests, nor its dock revenues, show any corresponding falling off in its great. business of fetching and carrying by sea. The receipts from the Liverpool docks, from the Bristol docks, and from all the docks on the island, show larger figures this year than ever before, and that in despite of the very considerable reduction in the rate of charges.

Now, this shows plainly enough that while the trade of the South has disappeared, it has been made up from other quarters, and that more ships have been docked in Liverpool and other British ports, since they lost the Southern trade, than ever before. And it is accounted for in this way. By a rather singular coincidence, it so happened that as the markets of all the South were shut off from the world, the harvests of France and England fell short, and the cotton ships were required to fetch bread from the North. As a cotton freighter from the South, the same vessel could not carry more than two cargoes a year, but as a provision ship from the North, she could make five or six trips. Thus dock receipts were increased. Moreover, ham and eggs, butter and cheese, meat and bread, paid more duties than cotton, and thus Custom-house receipts were also enlarged. Thus, notwithstanding the shutting up of the Mississippi, which the North-western farmer did not use for sending his grain to sea, your short crops opened a market for him in which he did get something for his grain, and by reason of which the North had wherewithal to pay for importations. Hence the Yankees, profiting by scarcity here, have not felt the war as grievously as they are about to do.

The full harvest here, in Ireland, and in France, and the like of which has not been known for many years, will mightily reduce this corn trade of the North. It is already a losing business, and the grain which is to come will be in the category of coals to Newcastle.

Hence I infer that, notwithstanding the opening of the Mississippi, the North-western people will find a poorer market than ever for their corn. With the falling off of this trade, the New-York merchants will be no longer able to pay off their British creditors in grain; they will, therefore, have to part with their gold; it will go up, and “greenbacks” will come down, and so raise a voice from the lower levels of society that will be trumpet-tongued for peace. To smother that voice, even now Mr. Lincoln has to keep an armed force not only in New-York and Kentucky, but in Ohio, Indiana, and other States. He is even now marching one up into Iowa, to put down there a cry for peace. He is likely to have occupation for all the recruits his conscription will give in keeping down his own people.

Never were the chances of the South brighter. All that we have to do is to maintain the defensive, watch our chances, and strike whenever there is an opportunity for a good stroke, either with the sword or with the pen.

I am, sir, yours truly,

M. F. Maury Bowden, Cheshire, August 17, 1863.

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