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[700] meat as all the other slave States together, had greatly increased the cost of living. The contracts for supplying the armies were awarded to government favorites, who, according to the testimony of Confederate writers, made them the object of reckless speculation. Their rapidly-acquired fortunes, an insult to the prevailing distress, carried trouble and discouragement everywhere. In short, all the measures devised by Congress were powerless against the general laws of supply and demand. The enactments, prohibiting all commercial intercourse with the North, had no effect; it was carried on even in spite of the war. The first pretext had been the purchase of medicines which the armies needed. This intercourse, thanks to the interested protection of high functionaries, soon extended, and the notes of the Federal government finally got into circulation, attaining a premium over the Confederate paper, which in 1863 was as high as four hundred per cent. Finally, the laws directing the destruction of cotton, in danger of falling into the hands of the enemy, were no longer executed except by the agents of the executive power. The bales containing this precious commodity were no longer seen blazing in every direction at the approach of the Federal armies. Planters, instead of applying the torch themselves to perform the work of destruction, carefully concealed their cotton whenever the fortune of war proved adverse to the Confederate soldiers, and hastened to sell it to the speculators who followed in the track of the enemy.

Before closing this sketch we will prolong our inquiry to the first quarter of the year 1863—an epoch which marks the complete breaking up of the financial system of the South. In fact, the figures presented in the budgets of the last two years of the war lose all significance, in consequence of the utter depreciation of the Confederate paper—a crisis far surpassing that which in our own country is connected with the remembrance of the

In his message of January 12, 1863, Mr. Davis was at last compelled to recognize the gravity of the situation. He recommended to Congress the adoption of decided measures in order, on the one hand, to diminish the number of treasury notes by obliging the public to convert those that had been issued, December

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