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[693] uncertain date and a most precarious promise. It was, however, a precaution which enabled the Confederate government to say after it had fallen that it did not break its engagements, since, in fact, the period for redeeming its paper never arrived. Notwithstanding this reservation, the first issues went off without difficulty, for no one doubted the perfect and speedy success of the Confederacy.

Congress, therefore, did not pause in the course it was pursuing. But in order to consolidate its credit, it sought, in the first place, to turn to immediate account the vast quantities of cotton that were stowed away in the ports and warehouses of the South; it authorized the government to receive subscriptions under the name of produce-loans or call-loans from planters who had stores of cotton in their possession. These planters engaged to pay at a fixed date a specified sum, to be deducted from the eventual produce of the sale of their cotton, receiving government bonds in exchange. These transactions created a paper which, having a tangible guarantee, was not so liable to depreciation. But the blockade, becoming daily more stringent, soon interposed a fatal obstacle in the way of this operation by rendering impossible the sales upon which the chances of the loan depended. In consequence of numerous objections, the date of payment was deferred, and finally postponed, until after the raising of the blockade. This modification greatly encouraged the lenders, the large proprietors, who were convinced that after peace the government would aid them to effect the sale of cotton upon which their subscription depended, and looked upon this very subscription as a sort of guarantee for the future; and during the single year of 1862 they pledged themselves to the nominal amount of sixty millions, say about thirty millions in specie. But, on the other hand, the guarantees they gave, depending upon the raising of the blockade, were found to be as precarious as that of the notes, and their paper speedily underwent a similar depreciation.

This source of revenue soon proved insufficient, as the war budget was becoming heavier every day. A levy of volunteers, as we have seen, had been ordered, as a response to those which had taken place in the North after the battle of Bull Run; it was likewise expedient to imitate the Federal Congress in a

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