The Union--the Confederation and the cotton question.
At a time when Egypt
was the greatest and most prosperous power upon the earth — when the sceptre of the Pharaohs was acknowledged throughout the Eastern
world, from the Red Sea
to the borders of Persia
— the prophet Isaiah said ‘"Egypt
shall be the besort of kingdoms. "’ It took many centuries, and the continued agency of innumerable fierce and devastating invasions — the Assyrians, the Persians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Arabs, the Crusaders, and the Turks — to accomplish the destiny thus foreshadowed by the prophet. --Yet it was accomplished, and Egypt
was one year ago the resort of nations.
It is, however, no longer so. The Yankee nation has within that time assumed a place in the scale to which the native meanness of the Egyptian
character, exaggerated and intensified by three thousand years of uninterrupted slavery and the vices which slavery brings in its trait, was never able to reach in its progressive descent.
At a single plunge it has sunk fathoms deep below the doomed and denounced kingdom of the Pharaohs, and it stands forth not only as the basest of existing nations, but as the basest nation that ever existed upon the face of the earth; or, rather, perhaps we should say it has within that time shown itself to be all this.
It is to dissolve the bands that connected us with this detestable and detested people, that the present Confederation is established and the present war waged.
The Southern States have for eighty years been victims of the punishment prescribed by the tyrant Mesentius
to the enemies who fell in his power.
They have been chained to the dead, putrid carcass of Yankeedom, and compelled to drag it along at the peril of their own existence.
They have executed their hard task with infinite loathing — they have, at last, cut themselves loose — and no earthly power can over again restore the links of the broken chain.
Those Northern newspapers and Washington
correspondents, therefore, who write that the Confederation designs to conquer Yankeedom, and to make Jeff
of the whole country lately known as the United States
, either lie willfully, or are wholly ignorant of the views entertained either by the Southern
people or the Southern President
They desire nothing more than to shake off the rotten carcass — to place a gulf of fire between them and the "basest of nations"--to render a future Union utterly and wholly impossible, henceforward forever, worlds without end. Neither as fellow-citizens of the same Republic, nor as fellow- subjects of the same monarchy, nor as a conquered race, nor as slaves, nor as tributaries, nor under any other form of connection whatever, do they desire to have any communication with them.
It is, therefore, wholly immaterial to the question of re-union, whether the cotton manufacturing interests of Europe
find new sources of supply or not. so repugnant is the thought of re-union to the heart of every Southern man who deserves the name, that in the whole Southern States there is not a cotton planter who would not willingly burn every bale of cotton, and forego the cultivation of it forever hereafter, were the alternative presented to him of cotton in the Union
or no cotton out of it. Such papers as the New York Herald
reckon without their host when they fancy that the equanimity of the Confederation is at all disturbed by the efforts of Great Britain
to open new channels of supply.
The war is not a war for the sake of cotton — it is not a war for commercial interests.
These are but incidental questions.
It is a war of separation, final and eternal, from the infamously degraded associates to whom we have heretofore been chained.
We are perfectly able to exist and to flourish, although another bale should never grow south of Mason
It is amazing, nevertheless, to read Yankee speculations upon this subject.
The New York Herald
, for instance, stealing the thunder of the New York Times
, gravely tells us, upon the faith of a paragraph in the London Times
, that England
, in obtaining her supplies hereafter, will entirely ignore the Southern States
--that she will get an extra half million from India
this year, and eventually more — that she will cultivate vast quantities in Australia
— that she has obtained leave to settle a colony in Nicaragua
, and, in a word, that the Southern States
will soon lose altogether the market for their great staple.
A gloomy picture the Herald
draws for the Southern States
, unless they repent and consent once more to return to the bosom of Abraham--There are, however, several little drawbacks to the perfection of this grand scheme, which it hints at, and which have to be removed, before it can command the full success to which the wisdom of its conception entitles it. For instance, in India
the cotton has to be transported hundreds of miles from the interior on the backs of men or mules.
That, however, is but a small drawback.
The Government is to build railroads thousands of miles long for the convenience of the Herald
The Government has tried heretofore to raise cotton in India
It has even, on several occasions, obtained seed from America
The cotton is good the first year, but the second it degenerates into the same inferior, almost worthless staple.
Nevertheless, if worked in with American cotton, it will do, and if fresh seed can be obtained from America
every year, the crop will never degenerate.
The inquisitive might ask, if you go to America
for the seed every year, why not go there at once for the cotton?
and if American cotton can be obtained to place out the Indian
, why can it not be obtained for the entire work?
But curious inquiries spoil theories, and must not be made.
a skeptic might hint that it would take a number of years to inaugurate the successful cultivation of cotton on a large scale, where the population is sparse and the gold mines productive.
In Nicaraguans it might be that the climate would destroy several generations of settlers before made progress was made in raising cotton, But the old adage "the may starve while the grass is growing," most not be quoted here, lost is endangers the theory on which all the of Yankeedom
lest this war last as long as it may, as peace shall have returned, and the American
cotton have been again brought into the market, it will drive out all competitors, Indian or others.
Commerce, as the London Times
property says, looks to its own needs only.
If our cotton be the best, it will be bought, in spite of competition, and as yet we see no chance of its having even a rival.
Yet we cannot conclude this article better than by repeating that this is not a war for cotton nor for commercial advantages.
It is a war of principle, and as such it will be waged by our people at any and every cost of any and every interest.
We may subdue the Yankees
, but it will only be to render them incapable of hurting us hereafter.
That we can ever renew our former connexion with them, we hold to be absolutely impossible.