previous next

[433] affairs than I did when you were here;1 nor take a more cheerful view of them than you do in your letters.

To Sir Edmund Head.

Boston, April 9, 181.
I had a letter this morning from a gentleman in Baltimore, eminent for his talents and position, who has exercised much influence through the border States against secession during the last four months. But he is now much disheartened. He says that disunion sentiments are gaining ground in Virginia and Maryland. He feels, as I think I told you I do, that we are drifting, and that nobody knows where we shall fetch up. ‘An intimate friend,’ he says, ‘and as I think the clearest-headed of the foreign ministers at Washington, and a lover, too, of the United States, writes to me, “We are here still in great uncertainty, and the process of disintegration finds no remedy.” ’

I think the same sense of uncertainty prevails everywhere. This, in itself, is mischief and disaster.

Yours faithfully,

To Sir Edmund Head.

Boston, April 21, 1861.
My dear Head,—I sent you by yesterday's express a parcel, about which the two papers I enclose will give you all the information you will need. The Danish books, I think, will be all you will want for some time.

But there are other things to talk about now. The heather is on fire. I never before knew what a popular excitement can be. Holiday enthusiasm I have seen often enough, and anxious crowds I remember during the war of 1812-15, but never anything like this. Indeed, here at the North, at least, there never was anything like it; for if the feeling were as deep and stern in 1775, it was by no means so intelligent or unanimous; and then the masses to be moved were as a handful compared to our dense population now.

The whole people, in fact, has come to a perception that the question is, whether we shall have anarchy or no. The sovereign—for the people is the only sovereign in this country—has begun to exercise his sovereign functions. Business is substantially suspended. Men

1 Six months before.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
United States (United States) (1)
Maryland (Maryland, United States) (1)
Denmark (Denmark) (1)
Baltimore, Md. (Maryland, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Edmund Head (3)
George Ticknor (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
April 21st, 1861 AD (1)
1815 AD (1)
1812 AD (1)
April 9th, 181 AD (1)
1775 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: