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New Orleans as it is.

--The poverty of New Orleans is general, and great apprehension of suffering the coming winter is exhibited. How different it is from what it was three years ago! when there were so much surplus wealth, so much luxury, and so open-handed a charity that it was everywhere for its benevolence, not only to its own people, but to those who are now grinding it into the dust of extreme humiliation. Retributive practice one of these days will return this poisoned chalice to the lips of its tormentors. Gen. Shepley, the Yankee "Military Governor," has devised a system of taxation which is terrifying his victims. The Picayune, which doesn't often speak above the bated breath of a bondman, in alluding to its, says:

‘ On behalf of the tax-payers of New Orleans, we respectfully represent to Governor Shepley that in the present condition of the people of this city the enforcement of this general order will be equivalent to the confiscation of the bulk of the taxable property in New Orleans. The suffering caused by the war and the suspension of commerce is felt in the homes of all the citizens of New Orleans. Many, once affluent, are now in very reduced circumstances, and utterly unable to do more than provide for the scanty support of their families; many more, once prosperous, and who by persevering industry had acquired the ownership of lowly homes, now find it difficult to get daily bread for themselves, their wives and little ones. --Distinctions, founded on wealth, have hardly any existence in New Orleans. The whole population of the city is fearfully impoverished, and there is no prospect of improvement — at all events, within a brief period. This being the condition of things, and widely known to be so, it is utterly impossible that the requisitions of the city taxes can be satisfied. Is, then, the bulk of the taxable property to be wrested by force of law from the possession of its owners, very many of whom have acquired the little they have by years of toll, and who deprived of it, will, with their families, be houseless, homeless, destitute? Can nothing be done to save the property of our people from the grasp of the spoiler, the heartless speculator, intent on amassing wealth, regardless of the means by which he does it, or the sufferings, the misery of others? We know that the liabilities of the city must be met in some way or other. Is the wholesale confiscation of the property of the citizens the only way in which this can be done? Cannot some means short of this be devised by the city government to meet current expenditures, and to tide over impending liabilities to a more favorable time? In a state of complete impoverishment, borne down by a weighty load of misfortune, bereft of trade, without available resources, our citizens are called upon, as in days of prosperity, to promptly pay their taxes. The will to do so is as good as ever, but the wherewithal is not attainable. In by gone days, when the city was temporarily suffering from the effects of calamity, the citizens were measurably relieved from the pressure of taxation by an extension of the time in which taxes should be paid. Cannot a step in that direction be taken now? It never was more, never was so necessary, if the interests and well being of our citizens are at all regarded.

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Shepley (2)
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