What the war has done.
Our readers may form some, though, we believe, an inadequate, idea of the dismal state of things in the North and West, by carefully perusing the annexed editorial article, which, under the above title, appeared in the St. Louis Republican, of the 2nd instant:
A meeting of five thousand people thrown out of employment in Philadelphia
, was held in that city on the 27th.
They were principally mechanics and factory hands, and all they wanted was to obtain an honest livelihood.
Some of them had been out of employment four, five and six months, and their means of support were exhausted.
It was represented that there were men in their midst who had not tasted meat for months; men who had not received two meals a day for months; others had lived on one meal a day; one man died from starvation.
Mr. Michael Ward
said, "no one need tell him that he is in the midst of doleful misery; that starvation abounds in every district.
Starvation had sent some to their final resting place already.
There were some few cases of this kind, but many are actually starving by degrees; they are dying — sacrifices to those political movers who have destroyed the happy Union that used to furnish us plenty of employment, and by that employment a sufficiency to purchase the necessaries of existence.
These creatures, the caterpillars upon the cabbages of society, after eating away the best portion of it, were dissatisfied that there was not another for them to destroy.
‘"Our property has been wrung from us, at least the means by which we derived our property, which lies in our ten fingers, each of them bearing the marks of toil.
They have been covered with blisters, although they are now wearing off for want of employment, and we are growing weak and puny.--We are not possessed of that spirit of turbulence that may be attributed to the working classes.
We are the producers of wealth, and we should be protected. "’
Let no one suppose that the case of Philadelphia
differs from that of any other city or town in the Union
They are all alike, and if the army has been filled with men born and intended for a better fate, it is because they have been driven to it by the desperation brought on the country by this unnatural war. What do we see here in St. Louis
A complete blockade of all trade, not for any crime committed by us — not for any thing the people of Illinois
, or Iowa
, or Missouri
, or Kansas
, or Minnesota
, may have done, for they have done nothing disloyal to the Union
--but a blockade which punishes us, starves us, under the foolish and ridiculous idea that it may do some harm to the revolting States.
All trade is at an end; and as a consequence the products of the farm are no longer of value, and with the immense crop which God, more mindful of us than we have been of ourselves, has given us, we are almost doomed to see it rot in the fields, for the want of means to garner it, or of a market after it has been saved.
What man is there, in either of our neighboring States, who can hope to get fifty cents for his wheat, or ten cents per bushel for his corn, or like values for the products of his farm?
How are they to pay onerous debts contracted in more prosperous times, with such prices as the reward of their labor?
But the calamity is not confined to the farmer.
They are likely to suffer most intensely, but still they have at command meat and bread, and the necessaries of life, for they raise them all. They may not starve.
But it is far different with those who live in cities and towns, and who depend upon their daily labor for the support of themselves and families.
What has become of the great steamboat interest, once our boast and main reliance, and which, with a capital of many millions of dollars, gave employment, directly and indirectly, to a fifth of the population of St. Louis
Gone, all gone, in consequence of the blockade of our trade by the Lincoln Administration
; and those who were living happily and comfortably, and yearly putting by something for old age, are on the point of starvation.
Where are our mechanics — the men who took pride in the advancement of St. Louis
, and who, as they pointed with satisfaction to the work of their own hands, felt solaced by the reflection that they themselves were growing rich by their industry and had a prosperous future for them?
Where are they — shrinking, it may be, from the observance of those who may have known them under better circumstances-- their families pinched for bread and deprived of the comforts to which they had been accustomed?
Where are the men employed in our machine shops and foundries and manufacturing establishments?
How do they prosper, now that their employers have closed their establishments, or are working only a few men to save appearances?
Do they receive any wages at all?
Even with all their frugality, do they not find their little store of means for a rainy day exhausted and their families in want?
But if we look to the day-laborers — that large class who, after all, contribute so much to the wealth of a city and State--what do we see?
Two thousand men, heads of families-- for no others would be received — have been employed by this city at fifty cents per day, and gladly have they worked for it, for by such means they were able to save their wives and little ones from starvation.
It were a boon to them, in the present deranged state of affairs, if they could be assurd of fifty cents a day for months to come, or until this unnatural and causeless war is brought to a termination.
But they cannot.
The city is as poor as the people, the same causes operating to deprive her of her-revenues, and compelling a suspension of all improvements What is to become of them, we know not, should this struggle be prolonged until the winter comes; and it is right that those who have the management of public affairs should look to the future, should take some interest in seeing that the war is closed before that time and that there is some return of prosperity to all classes of society.
The principle of self-preservation, if nothing else, ought to determine every man who has anything at stake, to put an end to this warfare, and that in the speediest manner possible.
It can, at best, only lead to universal bankruptcy — the bankruptcy of the nation and the bankruptcy of every individual in it — and what sort of a Government will that be, of which this is the practical and only result?
The Congress of the United States, instead of making appropriations of three hundred millions of dollars to carry on the war — instead of responding to the illegal, unconstitutional and unwarrantable demands of Mr. Lincoln
, whereby he may be able to pursue his object until the last vestige of constitutional liberty is merged in military despotism — instead of contributing to the beggary of the whole nation — should at once, in a spirit of patriotism, take measures to put an end to this struggle, marked as it has been by wickedness, weakness, imbecility and corruption, disgraceful to all concerned in it.