--The subject of ‘"backbone"’ was want to form the staple of Tribune
editorials and of Parker
discourses for years before the present war commenced.
From the manner in which the abolition presses and orators discoursed upon the value of personal pluck, it seemed as if they had monopolized the whole article, and there was no good manhood extant outside of their sacred circle.
Of all the virtues moral and physical courage was the greatest.
Backbone was the god of their idolatry.
Their thoughts seemed never to be far removed from the spinal column and vertebras.
If a man had them in perfection it mattered not whether he had anything else.
It was the grandest of all qualities that humanity could be endowed with, and was the only thing wanting to bring the South
to its senses, and elevate negro humanity by degrees till it reached the Boston
But since the war committed, scarcely a dozen of the votaries of backbone have made their appearance in the tented field.
The young, athletic, rampant editors and orators of the backbone school have disappeared as mysteriously as the sora.
Looked at superficially, the vigorous young men who compose the editorial corps of the abolition newspapers, would appear to be backbone and nothing else, but not one of them has enlisted in the present war. The original abolition party, from the beginning of the contest, have exhibited a lively appreciation of ‘"the perils that environ the men who meddle with cold iron,"’ The original dough-faces and democrats of the North
are the only representatives of that section who have evinced the least disposition to regale themselves with the odor of gunpowder.
They have shown their backbone, it must be admitted, in every battle field of the war, and it is the only part of their carcasses that their enemies have had a fair view of.
The late affair of the ‘"Trent
"’ afforded as fine an opportunity for the exhibition of backbone as was ever presented to a nation.
The London Times
had suggested to the Yankees
had often done wrong, but that when she got into a difficulty, even though she had been wrong in the beginning she generally fought her way out of it. There was a strong hint to the heroics who had been filling the world with enologies upon backbone.
But the hint fell upon deaf ears.
They could not think of violating the principles, of rectitude and virtue, and nothing is nobler in one who has done a wrong than to confess and repair it — It is true they had dreamed of atoning for their error till John Bull
put his blunderbuss at their heads and told them to apologize or die but it is never too late to do right, and it is the height of cowardice to be deterred from doing justice by the fear of being thought afraid Oh, righteous and valiant Jonathan!